Game Over - For Humanity (Scarlet Records)

Rock solid Italian thrash metal. Still waiting for a thrash version of Bella Ciao...
Release Date: 
2 Feb 2015 (All day)

2012 represented the tail end to the heights of the thrash metal resurgence in the 2000s, with numerous strong albums released that year by both the old and new guard. These included the likes of Testament, Overkill, Destruction, and Kreator representing the old guard, alongside young bucks Municipal Waste, Lich King, Savage Messiah and Hexen. Among those young bucks was Game Over, whose debut album For Humanity was of such quality as to be featured in some best albums of the year lists. Recently re-released by Scarlet Records, does it continue to hold up under the pitiless march of time?

Abyss of a Needle is a simple, catchy, classic thrash tune, so much so that it could be called stereotypical. Dawn of the Dead follows much the same formula, and successfully. Bleeding Green starts off with near My Friend of Misery basslines, giving the sense that For Humanity may be headed toward the dangerous shoals of mid-paced thrash. However, Game Over kick you into the chest and send you tumbling back into the mosh in quick time. Another Dose of Thrash does what it says on the tin, delivering anthemic thrash of the highest order. Tupa Tupa or Die does everything that Game Over do well - fast riffing, drumming, lots of solos, singalong lyrics (Thrash is back to kick your ass!) and thick basslines that fatten riffs and occasionally follow their own path. This is where the original album ends, but this re-release comes with three live tracks. All are good, especially the ‘Whoh, Oh’s’ in Nuke’em High, and Another Dose of Thrash especially thrives in a live setting. Sound quality for the album is excellent, capturing all the instruments with clarity and vivacity.  

As a first album, For Humanity pushes all the right buttons and is a very entertaining slice of contemporary thrash metal. One could even go so far as to say it’s almost as good as Exodus’ latest album - high praise indeed for a band that has no doubt been profoundly influenced by Exodus, among others. For Game Over to truly excel, they need to develop a more distinct identity, rather than just being a great version of the sum of their influences. They undoubtedly have that potential, and could put Italian thrash metal on the map like Hour of Penance have done for Italian death metal. For Humanity will have you thrashing about all over the place, and the songs are memorable enough to hum and remember most of the lyrics, but one fears that the long term prospects for an album like this is that is will sink into the sands of time like the statue of Ozymandias in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem. Though it may not be remembered by generations to come, those here to enjoy it now should get their hands on this tasty dose of by the book, fast food thrash.