Overt Enemy
Possession EP

Ahh Thrash Metal…For the most part there are usually two camps when it comes to the liking of the genre. One camp simply being lovers of the trade, relishing in everything it is, in all of its neck breaking glory; the other camp tends to keep its distance from the beer and sweat smelling, denim and leather clad hellions of speed and riff driven might. Maybe dipping their toes in the river of Thrash occassionlly, but otherwise don’t care for it for everything it isn’t, or rather what it never progressed into. True, thrash metal can be a genre primarily stuck in its own time, but when something is spot on from the get go, why change? Why does change or progress need to even play a part in it all? When something is good, its good, plain and simple. Some things have been the same for years, centuries, millenia even, and we never bat an eye. Personally, I fall into the first camp, categorizing thrash along with the Three B’s of things that have stood the test of time since their inception i.e beer, boobs, and blowjobs. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Overt Enemy seems to recognize this and agrees with my sentiments of thrash, or at least that’s the vibe I get after listening to their new EP, Possession. From what I understand, the group originally started out as a Slayer cover band before branching out into their own creative forte, so I’ll go ahead and address the eventual elephant in the room and say it…Overt Enemy sounds like Slayer, and I don’t mean just a bit of influence here or there, I mean they sound like FUCKING SLAYERRRR!!!; nothing really too surprising, their moniker is a Slayer song title after all. Like a strong mash-up of South of Heaven and Diabolus in Musica eras, Possession attacks with a pronounced groove and catchiness as well as classic thrashing speed that actually impresses quite better than one might assume.

Firing things off with the EP’s title track, “Possession” actually doesn’t bring to mind Slayer. In fact, I would say that the track has more of a Strapping Young Lad vibe along with a bit a galloped type groove reminiscent of Testament and/or Skinlab in its presentation. From here on out though it’s pure unadulterated Slayer love. There’s really not too much to expound upon. All of Possession‘s tracks are not only performed flawlessly and with a great amount of feverish zeal, but they are genuinely well written, free of filler, and are catchier than an s.t.d. in my hometown (seriously, my hometown is in the top 20 cities in the country to get an unwelcomed gift). There are a few moments where the band outshine their namesake influencers, mainly in the solo/lead guitar work  and some slightly darker/sinister  movements found in “Blood God” and “Pray for Death”. Coupled with a great production and the spot on rendition of “At Dawn They Sleep”, an absolute old-school favorite of mine to play back when I hosted a metal radio program, and there’s not much to not like about Overt Enemy.

I’m not sure how much love and acceptance the metal community is willing to throw at a band that pulls from and sounds this much like Slayer, we are a fickle bunch of assess, ya know. If Overt Enemy was a second or third rate cheap facsimile of their mighty influencers then the idea of them being cast into the metal pit of forgetfullness would be easily foreseeable, but as it stands, Overt Enemy and their material are pretty kick ass. Being that the EP’s title and lead off track is steeped in that aforementioned difference from the other tracks and overall less Slayer-y leads me to wonder if “Possession” is the newest of the EP’s four originals, and more indicative of where the band plans to go with future material. Either way, Possession is a quick and pleasurable blow to the ‘ol noggin that is sure to appeal to many a metal fan. Overt Enemy may not be the most original band, but sometimes originality can be extremely overrated, and hey, with the apparent retirement of that heavily mentioned one of the old guard looming in the near future, Overt Enemy could be nicely poised to try and fill some mighty big shoes.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
August 20th, 2019

Comments

  1. Commented by: Overt Enemy

    Thank you for the thoughtful review.


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