Released: 2005, Listenable Records
Speed Kill Hate was born in 2002 when Dave Linsk, Derek Tailer, and Tim Mallare of Overkill Adding on vocalist Mario from the band Anger on Anger the SPREAD THE HATE demo was released in 2003. One year later the band recorded and self-released their first full-length album, ACTS OF INSANITY through their website. The album was quickly licensed through Listenable Records for a February 2005 release for Europe while those anywhere else must order through the band’s website for a copy.
What have these members of Overkill concocted? A very enjoyable blend of groove and thrash. The only thing that really differentiates this release from the better moments of later Overkill is the vocals. I mean, musically this is some of the best Overkill I’ve heard in a long time. Up there with say, W.F.O and the better moments of the last 3 Overkill albums. Vocalist Mario is a mix of Phil Anselmo (ex-Pantera, Superjoint Ritual and 80 other bands) and Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), so if you hate either of those vocalists enough to hate an album that is otherwise headbanging heavy metal at its height, stay far away and don’t bother reading the rest of this review.
Smashing forward with “Walls of Hate”, which is instantly faster than anything on the newest Overkill, the band puts forth the mission statement. Headbanging, heavy and groove-laden modern thrash metal while bashing heads and cracking skulls. “Setting Me Off” starts off a bit slow and moves into a riff that’s a touch more melodic than some of the other riffs on the album. The faster sections of this song don’t really do it for me; the main verse riff is kind of a put off although the chorus reels me back in with its chorus that would definitely have me chanting along live. “Violence Breeds” is the worst song lyrically, with a chorus like, “Hey are you ready? We can step in the pit and finish this shit.” it becomes obvious that the band isn’t writing Shakespeare. Though the song does kick ass and does drive into the primal urge to mosh during the chorus.
“Won’t See Fear” rests right in the middle of the album and sits as my favourite. Notice how the second riff, the one just after the stop/start opening/chorus riff, sounds almost exactly like something that would have shown up on the newest Exodus. Then proceed to bask in the riff change from the building chorus to the fast riff that it changes into. The kick-off riff with pounding double bass will have you banging from the get go in “Face the Pain” while “Revelation at War” uses a rather similar formula… but hey, I’m not complaining. Although “Revelation at War” has a chorus that, when I first heard it, sounded like a war chant which ends up creating a very powerful image.
If you liked the 90’s era of Overkill or even the latest Exodus, you should enjoy Speed Kill Hate. As long as you can get past the vocals… and you know what? That’s really my only complaint and the main reason that it’s my complaint is that I could see Blitz singing all over this and making it sound that much more aggressive. It’s not what they are that hurts them, but what they aren’t. Which I think is going to be the same for anyone who listens to this album knowing who wrote and performed on it. I still think it’s a great album though, definitely worthy of a purchase.