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Review of the Album "Bloodletting" by Overkill

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This Is An Album That Takes Time Getting Used To

Of all the thrash metal bands in the music business Overkill is one of those that some may find it very hard to get used to and just have the patience to listen to an entire Overkill album. Their 2000 studio album Bloodletting is one of those albums that goes in the category of acquired taste because it really is one of those albums that you either like it or you don’t. Perhaps the vocal style of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth is a factor in Overkill being one of those bands that is really hard to get into and stick with as a fan. If you are feeling this way, know that you are not alone. Getting used to certain albums and bands is a process that takes time. Many of us know about Overkill because Joe Comeau was a member of the band. Bloodletting is the first studio album since his departure.

"Thunderhead" May Be the Album's Best Song

The opening song “Thunderhead” with its impressive bass lines might set the foundation for what is a brilliant album it seems. But early on, I would always get the sense that Overkill was a tough band to get used to and it has been that way for years. But Overkill definitely comes home to their thrash metal roots and delivers the goods on this song. The chorus of “I’m coming home” dominates this one as the song shifts to a great secondary riff before the solo. However, the beginning of the song is actually no less impressive as the bass can be clearly heard and goes along with the guitar. However, this kind of beginning is not as good as the way that Metallica began their early albums with classic songs such as Battery and Fight Fire With Fire. Nonetheless, this is a solid way to begin an album. The song is also an expression of how life can get so frustrating at times that we feel like it isn’t worth it.

A Brief Initial Analysis of the Songs In the Album "Bloodletting"

Then there are songs such as “Bleed Me” that in terms of the style is very much like Exodus. The heaviness of the guitars gives us that clue and it is also the style of the riffs. I get the sense that the vocals do sound like Steve Souza of Exodus but if you listen closely enough you will know that it is Bobby Blitz doing the vocals. The middle section of this song becomes more mid-tempo as it is possible to notice that there is a Black Sabbath influence in this section. Then the lead guitar section comes upon us seemingly out of nowhere. Overkill isn’t a band that is only about speed (at least not on Bloodletting). They fluctuate in terms of tempo depending upon the song and the part of the specific song.


Final Thoughts About the Album "Bloodletting"

In the later stages of the album, there is a change in tempo with the song “Left Hand Man” that starts with a wonderfully constructed acoustic section before the song gets heavy. The lyrical themes of the album Bloodletting range from frustrations about life, anger, rage, and a loss of love. In spite of these themes, what we have here is a rather pleasant thrash metal album for those that are able to handle it. How fast you get used to this album depends on your musical tastes. The next song “Blown Away” again starts soft and then builds up as the song lyrically suggests that anything that complicates your life, try to make changes so that you can eliminate these toxic influences. One of the qualities about the album Bloodletting is that the bass guitar actually plays a prominent role although it can be hard to notice if you spend too much time trying to analyze the riffs. For thrash metal albums especially of the early 2000s this album probably does not match some of the others but for what it is Bloodletting is quite a good album from one of the most famous metal bands from New York State.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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