Overlorde – Awaken the Fury (No Remorse Records)Friday, 29th December 2023
New Jersey heavy/power metal act Overlorde have made the most of their resurrection from their original 80’s inception days. Previously issuing a self-titled EP in 1987 that as a collector’s item can go for hundreds of dollars, this scribe witnessed the early 2000’s reformation with Bobby Lucas (Attacker, ex-Seven Witches) on vocals at the Classic Metal Festival in Cleveland, Ohio for 2002, eventually releasing their debut album on Sonic Age Records Return of the Snow Giant to fan/critical acclaim in 2004. While it’s been twenty years between albums, the band has played versus festivals here and abroad, working on material adjusting to some lineup changes. The latest lineup includes vocalist George Tsalikis (ex-Zandelle, ex-Gothic Knights) and drummer George Janeira along with mainstays guitarist Mark Edwards and bassist John Bunucci – signing with No Remorse Records for the sophomore full-length Awaken the Fury.
Expect a natural continuation of the band’s love of old school riffs, pushed in an energetic, propulsive manner with progressive flourishes, titanic vocal melodies, and intricate nuances against steel-oriented hooks in these ten tracks. Between the obvious bass heroic activities of Mr. Bunucci (nickname ‘Kong’ earned here) that sweep in a la Geezer Butler meets Steve Harris next to Mark Edwards thoughtful chord / riff sequences, it’s quite apparent these gentlemen are cut from the 70’s/80’s influence cloth, when a mix of North American / UK artists were the talk of the hard rock, heavy metal community (Rainbow, Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Rush among others). The majestic vocal lines of George Tsalikis mirror the powerful music proceedings brilliantly – the stories of historical/fantasy battles as well as exploring the human condition conveyed in breathtaking, soaring ways through mandatory highlights like “The Madness Within” and the mid-tempo, Dio-esque marcher “Battle at Marathon”. Distant rhythm measure plus psychedelic guitar passages give the longest track “Gargoyles” at 7:16 a dynamic twist right from the opening passage – the pace transitioning into a power/progressive charge forward as the musical interplay will find hands soaring high in homage to its galvanizing presence, Tsalikis hitting those eagle high notes convincingly.
The licensed Daniele Gay artwork fits like a glove to the themes present lyrically – Mark Edwards handling the production/engineering duties professionally as an experienced historian of the genre, calculating more than adequately the sonic dimensions necessary to position Overlorde as a veteran band of this genre. Good things come to those who patiently await – Awaken the Fury a brilliant offering from a US metal act intent on delivering solid heavy/power metal full of engaging tracks, outstanding performances, hopefully adding more followers to the coven.