Overlord - Fake Salvation

Groove stomping its way out of Petershagen, Germany, 2 man band Overlord present their version of death metal with their debut “Fake Salvation.” It as actually a pretty decent load of songs that are similar in structure, but feature plenty of melody and groove that these 2 could easily become the Satyricon duo of death metal. Each track is rather mid paced and accessible, without the guttural brutality of Hate Eternal or the rather formulaic success of Cannibal Corpse, but a lot of it can still be very recognizable. Perhaps the best comparison can be between the more death n’ roll styles of Six Feet Under or Torture Killer. While not as groovy or vocal distinct, when opening with ‘Shock And Awe,’ one can definitely hear the older 90s Six Feet Under influence of “Haunted” mixed with some of the faster elements of the likes of perhaps a band like Vader (especially with the guitar solos). Most of the instrumental work performed by Johan de Jager is pretty crisp and solid without that old school fuzz or distortion to muddle things. Vocals by Justus Meineke are rough and raspy growls, but vary up as the album carries through. ‘Shock And Awe’ pretty much keeps it a bit one sided though.

Other tracks like ‘Eradicated’ are more doomy, slow, and feature more of that almost Thrash militant drumming, but from the riff styles they definitely still follow the Six Feet Under train of opting for hooky riffs, but tending to repeat themselves over and over before breaking into the faster parts, then going back to the same verse driven patterns. It is a rather predictable way of songwriting, and while catchy, some fans might find it a little boring by the time is track is over. Vocally though, it showcases more of what Overlord can do when using varied growls, gurgles, and screeches, especially when layered, and shows more than the one sided grunt that the other tracks do. ‘Perpetual Torment’ is another track that falls into the Death n’Roll pitfall of starting out with a groovy, slow verse riff, going for faster bits on the chorus, and then going back to slower again, only this time it feels like the band is going for more of a thrash n’ roll once the guitar solo hits. Again, repetition in riffs is pretty key in this style, so listeners who like proggy twists and turns will not find that here, but those looking for just a solid song to headbang to will love it. For a song that pretty much takes off and does not slow down, in more Cannibal Corpse fashion, ‘Mental Monstrosity’ does a great job of breaking the zombie shuffle pace and just going for some direct, 2000s style death metal fun.

For solo driven tracks, listeners can’t go wrong with ‘Raining Lead.’ One part Vader, one part Six Feet Under, this song has a little bit of energy to it than some of the others that crawl along. A lot of the tracks near the end actually seem to shift gears, breaking that death n’ roll vibe and going more for direct death metal- still mostly Six Feet Under sounding like from the “13” or “Maximum Violence” days- but a bit more on the aggressive rather than the groove side. Even ‘Voracious Butchering’ sounds rougher, more guttural, and a little alien compared to the style that Overlord has presented. Its heavier and thicker in sound, but a more brutal welcome side the band might employ more often on future albums. Overall, “Fake Salvation” hits hard, has impressive musicianship coming from 2 guys, and will still stomp your face (though maybe not as much as Gutrycide would), but should still be considered a welcome release to add to any death metal fan in general’s collection.   

4 / 5 STARS

1. Shock And Awe
2. Counterstrike
3. Eradicated
4. Hideous Reprisal
5. Perpetual Torment
6. Fake Salvation
7. Mental Monstrosity
8. Punctured Sanity
9. Raining Lead
10. Stabbing Frenzy
11. Voracious Butchering