Overkill – The Variety Playhouse, Atlanta 05/03/17

Overkill headlined a lineup that included Atlantans Mosura, Khaotika, and Ancient Egyptologists Nile at the newly renovated Variety Playhouse.

Mosura, a young and talented four-piece death metal outfit, kicked off their set with the bone-crushing Mass Obliteration compelling the early crowd into a mosh frenzy. The band made the most of the opening slot by playing a mixture of classic death metal peppered with furious melodic passages, and deathcore breakdowns sure to attract fans from a variety of metal subgenres. The band are currently putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album Razor Mouth due for release in late 2017.

Melodic occultists Khaotika followed up with an ace performance including songs from Bloodline Empire and debut album The Flame Unleashed. The fact that the band are actively kicking ass is a bit of a miracle, given the tragedy that befell them when a tour van accident claimed the lives of their original drummer and two members of Wormreich back in 2015. However, they recovered to play at the Knotfest and several other shows alongside the likes of Belphegor, Rotting Christ, Decapitated, Carach Angren, and Shining. The band’s sound is a unique blend of melodic gothic and black metal with frontwoman Lariyah Hayes oscillating between clean and scream vocals over intricate yet powerful compositions. Khaotika are opening for Amorphis next month before getting back to work on their upcoming second full-length due for an early 2018 release.

I was especially looking forward to seeing Nile given their very recent lineup change. In case you missed it, Dallas Toler-Wade recently departed the band and was replaced with Brian Kingsland right before their North American tour. It turns out that the recent change did little to impact the band’s live performance, with Kingsland appearing to be a perfect fit on stage. Nile’s set included Sacrifice Unto Sebek, Kafir, and In the Name of Amun with a dedicated pit accompanying them all throughout the performance.

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Overkill have been around since 1980, which is basically a million metal years. I was excited to see them for several reasons, the biggest of which was the prolonged wait I had to endure for The Grinding Wheel. Like Testament, Slayer, and all the old school American thrash bands, Overkill never disappoint. I was blown away from the moment they kicked into Mean Green Killing Machine and found myself going berserk in the middle of the crowd (which made taking photos a challenge in the absence of a dedicated photo pit). From tossing guitar picks into the crowd to Derek Tailer flipping me the bird (in good sport!), the band entertained and energized the crowd all night long. Get The Grinding Wheel (out through eOne Music/Nuclear Blast) or die a lonely and miserable death.


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