Gross Reality - Overthrow (Divebomb Bootcamp Series)

Ripping stuff...
Release Date: 
5 May 2014 - 11:30pm

Rather cheekily, Raleigh, North Carolina natives Gross Reality refer to themselves on their facebook page as ‘thrash as fuck’. However, on repeated listens to this, their 23-years-in-the-making debut album, I really can’t argue with the term. Gross Reality are, indeed, thrash as fuck.

There’s not a lot else to say about this release other than that really. Superbly produced by Jamie King (you’ll know him best from his work with acts like Between the Buried and Me, Wretched  and Killwhitneydead, amongst others) and faultlessly performed, Overthrow throws ten high octane, pulsating thrashers your way that pleasingly are interested in simply thrashing. That’s not to say this is retro thrash – the sound is beautifully clean and modern – but the band has wisely decided against adding any ‘post-thrash’ flourishes to the mix in an effort to attain some sort of relevance; there are no death grunts on offer, neither are there lashings of djent-style shredding. What you get as a result is a mighty impressive-sounding platter, choc-full of nods to the things that made thrash great in the first place. Vocalist/bassist Daniel Powell has a slight Hetfield lilt to his voice that adds a comforting familiarity to his delivery, yet he never apes the great man outright; this is vocal styling par excellence.

Likewise the rest of the band, who all know what makes a great thrash tune tick and use their techniques accordingly for maximum effect. Guitarists Roland Arthur and Taylor Veraldi are clearly both masters of their chosen instruments, and capable of any amount of spectacular riffage, but that doesn’t stop the pair of them adding a bit of patented Slayeresque brutality to Haunting the Waters, a song that messrs King and Araya would kill to have written if truth be known. This album is littered with little references to the greats of the genre, yet it never sounds like a tribute, which is as fine a tribute to the skills of those involved (the lineup is rounded out by drummer Jason Wheeler) as I myself can summon up from my addled brain. If you like thrash, and If you’re still with us on day 22 of our ‘metal thrashing May’ celebrations then I assume you must, then I think you’ll be enjoying this album very much indeed.