Game Over – For Humanity (Re-issue) (Scarlet Records)

Sunday, 25th January 2015
Rating: 6.5/10

Affiliation through a quality 80’s thrash album from Nuclear Assault usually warrants more than cursory look-see – and in the case of Italy’s Game Over, they burst forward in an expected throwback fashion on their debut record For Humanity. Scarlet Records felt the original 2012 release on My Graveyard Productions needed a second chance, taking on a live rendition of Motörhead’s “Iron Fist” plus 2 of their originals performed live as well, making this a 13 song package of Bay Area meets New York oriented thrash.

The game plan for the quartet is rather predictable. Take a sneering, James Hetfield style vocalist in bassist Renato Chiccoli, add a wide swath of mid-tempo to slightly speedier thrash riffs, allow the rhythm section a chance to groove while pounding out the up tempo parts and top things off with a boatload of gang-oriented background vocals to drive all the key verses or choruses home. If I hadn’t heard of Metallica circa 1983-1985, Death Angel, or Nuclear Assault, I’d probably be wildly praising the heads down energy of “Another Dose of Thrash”, the drop on a dime shifting for double kick favorite “Dawn of the Dead” or the 24 second crossover burst that is “N.S.A.”.

Originality is hard to come by as we enter a third generation of musicians plying their ideas into the format. You can’t fault Game Over’s execution – their guitar layering and spirited lead breaks well-honed and sure to spring a lot of classic Bay Area comparisons. The cartoon-esque cover seems more like a Lääz Rockit affair from the late 80’s, and I doubt that most will change their tune about Game Over based on the live interpretations aired here.

For Humanity is one of those records that those deep in the underground may unearth down the line, but won’t put Game Over in line for a long touring slate with their heroes.

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