Overkill - Taking Over - March, 1987
It's funny the way you place things in your mind when you haven't put a whole lot of thought into where those things go... I always thought Taking Over was a bit of a step down from Overkill's brilliant debut, but upon further listening and really doing a hard comparison of the two, it's a real tough call. Taking Over is at least Feel the Fire's equal, and maybe even a couple points better!
The overall sound on Taking Over is the same as it was on the debut, which is no surprise given that a lot of these songs were written around the same time as those on Feel the Fire. The guitar tone on Taking Over is heavier though, and the band sounds tighter as a whole while retaining Overkill's already trademark reckless snarl. Songs like the opener, "Deny the Cross" as well as the eyebrow-raising tandem of "Use Your Head" and "Fatal If Swallowed" string neck-snapping riffs together in an almost organic fashion, making this one of the more complete and developed albums in the major growth period of the genre.
There are some weak points of course, like Blitz's vocals at times which seem to be just too clean, most notably on "In Union We Stand", though this is certainly not the rule but the exception. Overall, it's a very solid thrash album, and if nothing else, listening to it a few times with such a critical ear made me realize that my favourite band is even more awesome than I originally thought!
Standouts: Fatal If Swallowed, Deny the Cross, Use Your Head