Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Review: Overloaded - Hail The Kingdom (2005)

Overloaded [ Website | MySpace | Facebook ]
Hail The Kingdom

Embracing the raunchy, indulgent era of metal excess (also known as the '80s), Detroit's Overloaded resurrect the wild side of rock 'n' roll not only in sound but in spirit as well. Having come together in the summer of 2004, the band has already opened for many of metal's notable acts (Slaughter, White Lion, and Skid Row just to name a few). They've now packaged their alcohol-fueled sound into Hail The Kingdom, a debut that drills you right between the eyes and leaves you begging for more.

Overloaded waste no time and get the album started at full throttle with "Beaver Fever", a song that would have Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman himself, howling in approval. Guitarist Erik Kluiber's style resembles that of Uncle Ted, though Erik is a bit restrained in comparison. His form works perfectly well, however, both in tandem with rhythm guitarist John Sullens as well as when he's unleashing a wicked lead or volatile lick.

The voice of Overloaded is Chris Gillen who, simply put, has an awesome set of pipes. Sounding like a mix of Sammy Hagar and Sebastian Bach, Chris has significant range and plenty of grit to fit well with wherever the music takes him. A good example is my favorite track, "Feeling Overloaded". High-energy from start to finish, the dual-guitar riffs have tons of groove for Chris to lay the lyrics over. The masterful bass playing from Michael Massie and the immaculate beats from drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez deepen the song's impact.

Another highlight for me is "King of the Landfill", a song which adds a twist to Hail The Kingdom and proves Overloaded's versatility. Furious riffs from Erik and John give a clear indication that the band has lit the afterburner and serve to give the song a sound that's a mix of The Offspring and Bad Religion. Erik has said of himself that he's not a flashy guitar player, but the solo he unleashes on this track defies his humble statement. His most expansive of the album, Erik drops the reigns and lets his six strings fly.

Hail The Kingdom is pedal to the metal rock 'n' roll from beginning to end. The ride is never interrupted by the power ballads or acoustic moments often used to mix up the pace of '80s metal albums, which in itself is a breath of fresh air. Professionally packaged, the album was mastered at Morrisound in Florida and the production is crystal clear. Fans, like me, who love the hard rock and melodic metal from bands like Def Leppard, White Lion and Mötley Crüe must add Overloaded to their list of favorites. I have.

Track Listing
1Beaver Fever3:34
2War of the Worlds2:48
3Feeling Overloaded3:36
4Where Are You Running To?4:40
5King of the Landfill3:11

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