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Review: Retched - The Overlord Messiah
The Overlord Messiah

Label: Sliptrick Records
Year released: 2024
Originally released in: 2016
Duration: 18:48
Tracks: 6
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: February 14, 2024
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

Further proof that there are plenty of metal releases left "in the wild" is this EP called The Overlord Messiah from Fresno, California's Retched that was originally recorded in 1988 but didn't see the light of day until 2016. With new material apparently imminent, Sliptrick Records, the band's new label, is polishing the EP up for a new release. Retched (in the promo materials, there's info that indicates the name is pronounced either like "I'm so sick, I just wretched my guts out" or the German word for right, "rechts") were kind of an anomaly back in 1988 with their epic, crunchy metal at a time when thrash and hair metal were the rage. The singer has a bit of Bobby Blitz Ellsworth in the way he delivers his vocal lines, especially on "Metal Knights," and the music has a Feel the Fire vibe but is more Omen in style than Overkill. The songwriting is simple (especially "Lost in the Night" where the lyrics are quite heavy-handed) but there's a charm to the approach and you can tell that back in the '80s, these guys were simply writing the best and coolest metal tunes they could. They weren't all winners, but "Black Leather and Me," "The Pharaoh's Curse," and "The Overlord Messiah," rudimentary as they may be, do flash some promise. I don't know what Retched's new material will sound like, but if I'd had The Overlord Messiah back in the '80s when I was a DJ at my college radio station, I guarantee I would have been playing it on those Friday nights.

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