Monday, August 04, 2008

Overcast - Fight Ambition To Kill

As the crow flies, Massachusettes has created some damn good metallic hardcore. And though I truly love Converge, apple of my eye, Overcast has always been in the running for most punishing metal disguised as hardcore. Though shorter lived and with less releases Overcast has never had a dull moment. I will attribute this, in part, to Brian Fair. The man has the coolest metal voice ever. From his actual singing voice to his unbelievably brutal howl, every time this man opens his mouth, a wonderful blackness spews forth, one that is both cathartic and frightening. If demons exist they would listen to Overcast.

It wouldnt be fair (no pun intended) to give all the credit to Brian Fair. True, the man has pipes worthy of the darkest shrines (and dreads to make Jah jealous) but the band is incredible. Wrenching their way through maze like compositions of off kilter timings, blast beats and furious sludgy breakdowns sure to give the geriatric crowd a kickstart to heart. Fight Ambition to Kill is a perfect example of their complex riffing and awesome rhythm section. So often, though, complexity tends toward a general lack of hummability. This is not the case here. This album is chock full of hooks and amazing grooves. If you have any pulse you will most likely want to jump out of your skin and stage dive off the top of your house. Repeatedly. The breakdowns are sick. Sick!

Well, as of the past few months it appears that Overcast is not so short lived. Despite members going on to Ozzfest sized metal bands Shadow's Fall and Killswitch Engage they have found it in their embittered souls to grace the world with their presence once again. Someone said recently that metal was once the saving grace of hardcore, but now it seems Metal is taking that crown back, since the over abundance of "metalcore" bands has polluted and watered down what was once a vital sound. So what better time for Overcast to make a comeback and show both camps how its really done.

A quick check on their myspace page shows that not only has the whole band reunited to play some shows in the North East, but they are doing so in conjunction with a new release on Metal Blade records called "Reborn to Kill Again". The retribution this band has always deserved is finally coming to them. Its gets better though. Turns out that Overcast will be touring with legendary NY hardcore band Dissolve (to me and anyone who liked them at least). If you know Dissolve then you know that they bring a hurting that fits perfectly with Overcast. The only thing that could make this better is if they added Starkweather to the tour. I think people would be dropping like flies at every show if that happened today. Nonetheless! You, as hardcore fans, owe it to yourself to get into this band, get the new release and go see the show if you can feasibly make it.

Overcast w/ Dissolve and guests.
Aug 21 2008 - 7:00P @ School of Rock - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Aug 22 2008 - 8:00P @ Valentine’s - Albany, New York
Aug 23 2008 - 8:00P @ Living Room - Providence, Rhode Island
Aug 24 2008 - 7:00P @ The Showcase Lounge @ Higher Ground - South Burlington, Vermont
Aug 29 2008 - 7:00P @ The Palladium (Upstairs) - Worcester, Massachusetts
Aug 30 2008 - 7:30P @ Bobby Allen’s - Waterbury, Connecticut

Which leads me to my next point. I dont drive. I dont even have a license. I respectfully lost it years ago and have never attempted to retake my driving test. So, who wants to take me to one of these shows? ^_^. Gas money and other accoutrements can and will be provided by me. Leave me a comment.

This photo taken by Bruce Bettis at Go check out his awesome photography.

Before I go. It should be mentioned that Dissolve was also around during the days of Overcast and has played a lot of shows with them. They too have recently released a new record called Caveman of the Future on Trip Machine Laboratories. It is absurdly good and any fan of metal or hardcore will call it their favorite in no time. You can buy it at most big distros, including Very, RevHQ and Interpunk.
For the time being you can go over to Aversion for samples from the new album and you can get their old album and the EP at An Attitude Exhumed. Essential.

Lastly, I have another comp in the works. That was supposed to be todays post, but I copied over the wrong stuff to my iPod this morning. Check back tomorrow.


Blogger proven hollow said...

overcast was indeed a good band. shadows fall and killswitch however, ick. i hate to admit it but i think shadows fall made me not be interested in an overcast reunion. i kinda liked how they were old and from the past and you could pull it out for some new metal guy and he would be blown away. now they are just going to be another shirt in hot topic, like earth crisis. ooooSNAP!

6:12 PM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

wait...are you trying to topic...isn't punk rock?
what the fuck man?
i'm at a loss for words.
we may have a smurf crisis on our hands!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I saw overcast at the Fireside in 98 and they were so fucking heavy it blew my mind. I never got super into their records (or Shadows Fall for that matter), but I thought they were great live. I'm surprised they decided to pick it up again, but I bet it will be cool for them to play smaller hardcore shows.

7:28 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

overcast is very good. hot topic isn't punk? whatever.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Overcast & Dissolve make one sweet fuckin post. Thumbs up!

1:12 AM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Can you post some "hot topic"? I'd like to hear for myself if they are punk or not... ;-)

1:59 AM  
Blogger Death Metal Dan said...

I love Overcast. Such an interesting combination. They were doing that whole clean vocal to scream thing before it was en vogue in metal/metalcore. And they actually did it well unlike most bands these days.

As for reuniting, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm not worried about the whole Hot Topic issue that other people commenting are. I just don't know how important it is that they reunite. They never had a massive following as far as I remember. I don't know how interested people will be to see them again.

But hey - if they come to Philadelphia, I'd probably go.

6:03 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

I think the reunion is two fold in meaning. For one, I think they are just all back in Mass and having fun playing together. Second, I think they worked really hard to be more than a hardcore band and it seems they have finally gotten that chance, though I think its due to their later bands that this is happening.

I dont know. Probably a few more reasons too, but I cant say. On their myspace it seems like they are just happy to be hanging out and playing music again, though I am sure there are some dollar signs floating in the background.

I loved them in the 90's. Thought they were one of the best and even when I was at my lowest point of listening to hardcore I still listened to their For Indifference 7". Plus I missed seeing them back then. Like so many other amazing shows.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a copy of Expectational Dilution that they can up?

- Justin

9:46 PM  
Blogger XemonerdX said...

In case anyone's interested, I just posted Overcast's 1993 demo and their split 7" with Converge. Check it here:

5:27 AM  

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