Released: 2000, Independent
Overlorde’s history dates back to 1985 but its their 1987 5-song vinyl EP that over time became somewhat of a cult classic. Unfortunately the band fell apart in the late 80’s and drifted into obscurity…or so it would seem. By 1999 there was a lot of interest in the band from Europe and by 2000 they reformed. Although I was listening to metal long before 1987, I didn’t hear of Overlorde back then. There was no web to surf to find the band and living at the end of the Earth meant the supply of new metal was limited to popular magazines or TV. My introduction to Overlorde came in about 2000-01 from hearing demo tracks on http://www.Snakenet.com
However, it was not until I was preparing the line-up of bands for the Metal-Rules.com Volume I compilation (http://www.metal-rules.com/CD/MetalRules-VolumeI.htm
) that I luckily got caught up on Overlorde. After their participation on the compilation, guitarist Mark "M.E." Edwards sent me a copy of the demo recordings from 2000 which I am more than happy to review and present to you here…even if it’s a bit late.
When I first played Overlorde’s DEMO 2000 I first thought to myself “this sounds like a late 80’s release.” The recording sound, drum sound, guitar sound etc. does not sound like modern day power metal or even what some call “US power metal”. Everything about this is classic sounding and that itself must have been a bit of a feat to accomplish since the band members had been apart doing other things for most of the 90’s. I am not suggesting that this sounds dated! It sounds classic, and as I’ve said many times before - good metal never goes out of style! Such is the case with the four killer classic power metal tunes lined up on this demo.
The demo opens with “Blackness” which has a catchy chorus but it was the very cool bass intro that grabbed my attention most on this track. “Hell Hath No Fury” has a memorable riff a la NWOBHM. Bobby Lucas’ voice sounds a little like a more aggressive version of Michael Kiske on this one. Just before the 2min mark in the solo the bass comes in with some killer Geezer Butler like playing. “Ogre Wizard” starts out with a nice drum intro and when the song kicks in it’s pure classic power metal heaven. This does not sound like a "new" song, but it rules. Good metal is ageless, no matter what some 15yr old kid might think. The demo comes to an all too quick close with “Metallic Madness”. Again there are some nice drum fills in this one. This is the track where I really noticed the drum SOUND. No triggers and no electronic sounds here. Depending on what you listen to or like, some shun the electronic sounds and prefer this kind of 100% acoustic sound. I like both. There is a major wah effect on the later half of the lead guitar solo. I'm not much into the wah sound, but this is done nicely and is only used this once on the demo.
For a cult band that made its debut in 1987 to return in 2000 with a demo of this caliber is a testament to the members’ continual love for heavy metal. My only complaint is that it’s now 2003, so where is the full-length album!! I bet some Overlorde fans that got this demo in 2000 or 2001 must be going crazy with the wait. Overlorde vocalist Bobby "Leather Lungs" Lucas (former Seven Witches vocalist) can be heard in the band Exhibition with their debut album THE SIGN OF TOMORROW from Limb records. Hopefully he still has plenty of time to devote to Overlorde in 2003. With luck a label will give the guys a chance and we’ll hear a full length in 2003!