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Review: Overlord - Back to the Dragon's Lair
Back to the Dragon's Lair

Label: Heaven and Hell Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 66:00
Tracks: 16
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: September 17, 2010
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (3 Votes)

One of innumerable bands with the same name, London, Ontario's Overlord has existed, in one form or another, since 1983. Founder and bassist Branko Zugaj has apparently re-formed the group, intent on releasing new material. To whet everyone's appetites, Heaven and Hell Records have brought together all the bands past demos and EPs for a compilation, Back to the Dragon's Lair.

Straight ahead Heavy Metal is the style, as you might expect from a band formed in the mid 80s. Mid-paced fuzzy riffing forms the basis of most of the songs on Back to the Dragon's Lair. The bass and drums are fairly simple and uncomplicated. Overlord goes back and forth between and Iron Maiden-inspired galloping songwriting style and a slower, almost doom, Ozzy-era Black Sabbath style. This material is obviously from demos as the production is thin and muddy while the playing is definitely loose and unruly, not unlike what you might hear from a lesser known NWOBHM band. Singers Colin Wilkinson and Jim Feeney are the weak links here, as neither seems able to hold a tune for very long and each tries to hit notes beyond their range.

The songs are somewhat weak, but get better as the album progresses. The riffs on "Midnight Flight" and "Nice Life" are good and the guitar has a cool, fuzzy tone. "White Witch" has a good Rock n' Metal vibe and "Subterranean Spiral Dance," with its acoustic guitar and hand drums, has an almost Pagan Altar feel. But even these highlights can't save the album from being a chore to listen to. Hopefully the new band Zugaj has put together will come up with some decent material and get themselves a good producer for the new effort.

More about Overlord...
Interview with Branko Zugaj (Bass) on September 26, 2010 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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