OVERKILL – Under The Influence [Japan SHM-CD remastered] (2016) Out Of Print
One of the most renowned ’80s albums from the thrash metal movement is without a doubt OVERKILL‘s “Under The Influence”. Recently remastered by Rock Candy Records, it was requested by some here. However, we’re presenting instead the Japan SHM-CD remastered release, and believe me, it should be hard to match the quality of this version in terms of audio quality.
This Japanese remaster sounds terrific indeed, with the guitar sound blazing thru the speakers without losing its original analog attack. In my opinion, it isn’t an easy task to remaster thrash metal albums, as most the times the ‘razor’ punch results diluted.
Not the case with this “Under The Influence” Japanese remaster. The bass tracks come clear and defined, while the drums and especially the cymbals retain its vibrance.
Musically, it’s matter of tastes; I really enjoy many thrash metal albums, and “Under The Influence” is one of them.
The title of opening track ‘Shred’ speaks for itself: the frenetic intro riff and beat is right out of the mid-80s Metallica formula, and mixes in nicely with a set of groovy, upper-mid tempo work.
This mixture of Bay Area and New York thrash influences pretty well dominates much of what is on here, stepping aside only occasionally for some classic metal influences out of the band’s previous efforts, all of which were at least partially conceived during the time when thrash and speed metal were joined at the hip.
Blitz’s vocal style is pretty clean for the genre, having a bit more to do with Bruce Dickinson than your typical thrash shouter.
If you like this genre, songs like “Never Say Never” and “Brainfade” carry a heavy dose of ’80s thrash cliches, the kind that will keep your foot tapping. This is further bolstered by the extremely bombastic drum sound, which is along similar lines to what was heard out of Lars Ulrich on ‘Master Of Puppets’, though the newly acquired kit-man Sid Falck proves to be a bit less stiff and keeps a bit with a semblance of flow.
‘Mad Gone World’, ‘Brainfade’, and ‘Drunken Wisdom’ join in the angry WTF-fest and feature some distinct touches here and there.
The album closes with the title track, the third part of the ‘Overkill’ song series, and features one of the most evil main riffs you’ll ever hear. It includes as well that ‘clean guitar’ parts characteristic of the genre, creating atmospheres.
“Under The Influence” is an elite thrash metal release that helped the genre peak in 1988, regarded as one of the best of this musical movement entire history.
As said, I doubt any other remaster sounds better than this Japanese SHM-CD version, handled by Isao Kikuchi (Mixer’s Lab) at Warner Music Japan Mastering.
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オーヴァーキル* ／ アンダー・ジ・インフルエンス
01 – Shred
02 – Never Say Never
03 – Hello From The Gutter
04 – Mad Gone World
05 – Brainfade
06 – Drunken Wisdom
07 – End Of The Line
08 – Head First
09 – Overkill III (Under The Influence)
Lead Vocals – Blitz
Guitars, Backing Vocals – Bobby Gustafson
Bass, Backing Vocals – D.D. Verni
Drums – ‘Sid’ Falck
Mastered by George Marino
Mixed by Michael Wagener
Out Of Print