Hellrazer – Operation Overload

Operation Overlord
Released: February 2013
Heavy Metal/ Thrash Metal
Dust on The Tacks Records

‘Operation Overlord’ is the third album from the Calgary-based, Canadian thrash metal band Hellrazer. It is the follow-up to their 2008 ‘Prisoner of The Mind’ album. This edition also features new recordings of two songs from their debut album as bonus tracks.

Oddly enough I was listening to an old Destruction album earlier today and this really does seem like continuation of the same theme. Make no mistake, Hellrazer is about as archetypal as thrash metal gets! Straight from the offset, the theme tune ‘Hellrazer’, which I’m guessing is a homage to the famous horror movie ‘Hellraiser’, you’re in for a barrage of guitar riffs, solos and some rather cheesy sounding lyrics sung in a stereotypical thrash metal vibe. Oh and by cheesy lyrics I’m talking about the real deal here, think Goddess of Desire/Manowar and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what I’m referring to.

‘This pretty much sets the score for the rest of the album. Stand-out tracks include the mid-paced, “metal warriors” -themed ‘Ironheart’, which features some promising guitar solos allowing you to look past the ultra cheesy lyrics, and the epic-sounding, guitar-infused title track ‘Operation Overlord’. The latter sees several changes in pace depending on the speed of the guitars which range from slowish at the start, faster catchy guitar riff mid-way through and back to the slow ballad-style melodic towards the end of track. Then there’s the ballad ‘The Phantom’ which starts off which some melodic guitars and female vocals which really make you wonder if this is still the same album. It’s only until the thrash metal guitars kick in and the main singer returns that you realize that this was just an intro. Yes, this is still Hellrazer and this is their take on The Phantom of the Opera, another common theme for heavy metal bands (think Iron Maiden, Iced Earth and so on). Hellrazer’s version features more of the same skillfully executed guitar solos along with Iron Maiden style, story-telling vocals.

The war-themed ‘Rise of the Machines’ is quite possibly the only song on here where the drums stand out, particularly in the latter half of the track where they mimic the sound of gunshots.

4/5 – a highly enjoyable, solid thrash metal album.

Iza Raittila

2 Responses to “Hellrazer – Operation Overload”

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