By Bob Nalbandian

Metal Is/Sanctuary/BMG

Carnival Diablos
Metal Is/Sanctuary/BMG

Overkill are, perhaps, the last of a dying breed. Here's a band that's been around since the early '80s (this CD marks their tenth studio release) and never abandoned the scene or their trademark sound, churning out albums year after year and always sticking to their guns regardless of passing trends and fashions. Love 'em or hate 'em, you gotta respect them! "Thunderhead" opens in true Overkill fashion, with its furious gut-wrenching riff and thunderous drum and bass, this is classic Overkill. Bobby Blitz's vocals sound brutal as ever, here's a man who's definitely matured over the years. "What I'm Missing" is a real powerhouse, with a killer riff (sounding similar to the opening riff in Megadeth's "Holy Wars.")

Other great tracks include; "Let It Burn," "1. Hurricane" (totally brutal riffs in this one!), and the closer, "Can't Kill A Dead Man." The production (self-produced by the band) is awesome...Heavy, tight and powerful as f**k. This CD is quite a bit better than their last offering, Necroshine, ranking right up their with From The Underground And Below.

Like Overkill, Annihilator's latest effort, Carnival Diablos, is pure metal. Stemming back to their '80s metal roots, Annihilator, too, have released ten albums selling in excess of a million worldwide. The brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Jeff Waters, Annihilator's music is both powerful, yet technical, sounding similar to early Megadeth at times. Unfortunately, the song structure lacks a bit, but the main flaw I find with Annihilator is Joe Comeau's trite vocals and lyrics, sounding way too typical of this genre. Although most the tracks revolve around intricate riffs, I prefer the tracks with simplistic metal riffs, like "Shallow Grave," a great tune which sounds closer to AC/DC or Accept, rather than Pantera. Jeff Waters also produced the CD, which sounds a bit thin and hollow at times, but holds its ground for the most part. Other cool tracks include; "Time Bomb," "Epic Of War," and the opener, "Denied."

The fact is, both Overkill and Annihilator offer nothing exceptionally new to metal music, but with musicianship so solid and riffs so goddamn heavy, it is a hell of a lot more refreshing to hear then these new-breed rap/metal hybrids. Critics often refer to this style of metal music as primitive and uncreative. I often refer to those critics as lame-f**kin' pussies.

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