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Rank and File

Rank And File: Overdose

Brazil tends to pump out a lot of solid death/thrash metal, which was popularized by the legends Sepultura. However, few know that before they even had one record out, they put their Bestial Devastation EP on a split release with a band known as Overdose, their side being titled Seculo XX. Of course, Overdose would never get nearly as much recognition as their peers, and while they did reunite in recent years, they all but died off by the mid-‘90s. Furthermore, they also started off in a very different path. The first three albums leaned more towards power metal, followed by a thrash release, and then two groove metal albums. They’re all very tough to come by, but lucky for you I’ve found them all in full on YouTube, each one included here. Today I’ve decided to take a closer look at all six records, and rank them all.

Overdose - Indy Metal Vault

6) Scars (1995)

Overdose probably should have sealed the deal with the record before Scars, which also wasn’t anything too impressive. This being the most groove metal of all, there’s some signs of rhythmic flow and strong ideas, but none of it is pieced together very well. Moreover, there are some absolutely horrid vocal passages here and there that sound nothing more than babbling, which can be found in “My Rage.” It’s also an overly long release and drags even the decent moments out far too much. The solo work in the second half of “Manipulated Reality” is quite impressive, but small specks like that are the only thing that help this out.

Final Grade: F+

5) ….Conscience…. (1987)

The debut album was an evil that was definitely needed; though ….Conscience…. Isn’t really that great of a record, it’s certainly one that gets everything out on the table for what’s to come. Clean vocals over fast guitar passages make this nothing shy of a power metal disc that’s too messy for its own good. Tough production pokes the solos through a bit hard, the flow is quite shoddy, and the songwriting is less than memorable. The energy is here, and the right idea is being shown. Thus, songs like “Ultima Estrela” boast a very explosive front that I dig the hell out of. All in all, it’s fair to call this the backbone of what makes up the two following records. Not essential hearing, but worth at least looking at.

FInal Grade: C-

4) Progress Of Decadence (1987)

So right here we have the other of the two groove albums, and easily the better of the two at that. Progress Of Decadence basically followed the Chaos A.D. formula step-by-step, which means it’s pretty good but unoriginal and not that memorable. The rhythms here are incredibly strong because of Andre Marcio’s outstanding drumming, helping to stabilize the guitars and cementing a far sturdier foundation. It isn’t much of a “guitar album,” since melody doesn’t break much of the surface; however, “Deep In Your Mind” is packed with strong licks and solo work. Yes, there’s a tough-guy attitude, and there’s a lot of start/stop strumming here. If some of the length was trimmed, it likely would have been better.

Final Grade: C

3) Circus Of Death (1992)

Ah, the record that marks the biggest shift in sound, as everything prior to this was far more power metal than thrash. In Circus Of Death, vocalist Pedro “Bozo” is replaced with “Baza,” a far more vocally aggressive front-man. You can find your typical speed/thrashers such as “The Zombie Factory” that blast off fiery explosions of riffs, as well as slower numbers like “Dead Clowns.” The latter dulls out some of the sharp distortion to make it a bit easier to swallow. And then you’ve got numbers that have a bit of everything like the masterpiece “The Healer.” This one does a spectacular job at welding together a slower intro, blistering vocals, and tons of melody. For all who dig straight up thrash from the southern hemisphere, this is your hidden adventure.

Final Grade: B

2) Addicted To Reality (1990)

If you can get past the hideous disaster known as the album cover of Addicted To Reality, then you’re in for a solid power/thrash treat! With an even split between the two genres, you can get an idea of where the band was headed. “White Clouds” shows a tougher push in vocal delivery, which helps the songs pack a harder punch. On the contrary, “Pain” stacks acoustic guitars and softer licks on top of a heavy bottom that still remains. Overdose doesn’t show the slightest hint of losing their melodic gifts, and vocal harmony still shows its face. There could be a little bit of trimming in the overall output, but for the most part, this is a pretty great spin. Part of this may be because of it following up the masterpiece that hit a year prior.

Final Grade: B+

1) You’re Really Big! (1989)

Vault readers, if you don’t listen to a single album I’ve talked about yet, at least give You’re Really Big! a try, because I don’t know how it didn’t get further recognition. Being their second album, it cleans up every problem that was found in the debut album. Gone are any issues with production or songwriting, and present are hooks for days. “Nuclear Winter” is an incredible number with amazing vocals placed atop some of the smoothest instrumentation the band has ever created. Instrumentals are used to help transition the songs into one another, with the best one being the lump of fret-happy energy called “Age Of Aquarius.” But one of the biggest standouts here is the ballads. “Let Us Fly” is a beautiful track with a calm tone and an enticing intro. The harder speed/power punches lie within the magic of tracks like “Stoneland” and “Fight For Our Dreams.” Taking all of these ideas and making them work so well together is tough, but Overdose did it brilliantly! Fans of Manowar, Satan, or Helloween should dig this release up as soon as possible!

Final Grade: A

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