Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
So before I got to listen to Overcome’s return album, the Great Campaign of Sabotage, I read some other reviews of the album. And I was shocked at some of the reviews I’ve read. I’ve read a lot of negativity towards one of the godfather bands of the spirit fill hardcore genre. To be fair, I’ve been a fan of Overcome since When Beauty Dies was released in 97 and so maybe blind love for old school hardcore is clouding my vision.
So from the reviews I’ve read there have been two main points of negativity. The first is that the production on the album is bad. By bad production I’m assuming people are talking about the drums. Note to young hardcore/metal fans, that’s what real recorded drums sound like. While by modern comparisons the drums sound abrasive and raw, it helps keep Great Campaign of Sabotage sounding like an Overcome record. It sets them apart.
The other complaint I’ve read about the vocals. Apparently new vocalist Thomas Washington is too much of a one trick pony for the modern metal fan. I didn’t realize that not have a super dynamic range in hardcore was something that hurt the quality of an album. But again, this might be something I don’t mind because of my love for old school hardcore.
As for the record… I love it! The Great Campaign of Sabotage is the type of album that contributed to my love of hardcore and metal in the first place and it’s nothing that I dislike about modern metal.
Right out of the gate, The Great Campaign of Sabotage is more metal then I was expecting, although Jason Stinson said this album would please both Overcome and Indwelling fans (Stinson’s death metal band after Overcome broke up). While the solos aren’t the most technical, the mesh into each song uniquely, not always fitting in a space or time that seems like it sound work, but each one finds its way to make the songs come alive. And as far as the one pitch vocals through the entire album… I don’t understand that complaint. While Washington’s vocals don’t have a lot of dynamic range he does find a way to mix hardcore screams and death metal growls.
Musically Overcome hasn’t changed a whole lot since Immortal Until Their Work is Done. While there are more metal elements on the Great Campaign of Sabotage, the album has an extremely old school vibe to it, and from that angle I can see why younger metal fans might not like this record. There are no breakdowns, there are no clean singing vocals, the songs don’t follow a verse/chorus/verse progression, the solos are true death metal style solos, the drum tracks are the real recorded drums and not triggered samples.
The Great Campaign of Sabotage is a great record. It’s the first album of the year that has potential to be a favorite of 2011. As an old school hardcore fan who is constantly bitching about the state of modern metalcore, Overcome has delivered a record I instantly connect with and instantly love. Well some fans might be turned off, old school fans should love this record and Overcome fans will not be disappointed.