Hail The Kingdom


No Deal, 2006


REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Put Iron Maiden's anthemic arrangements, Motley Crue's living-large attitude and Skid Row's Sebastian Bach into a pot. Boil for half an hour or seven songs and you get Overloaded, a five-piece metal group from the Motor City.

Vocalist Chris Gillen's attitude-thick vocals are similar to Sebastian Bach but not a duplicate, which can be said for the whole release. The band has a unique vision for its sound and the tracks here melt into each other, kind of like AC/DC's Back In Black, where you can listen to the entire disc over and over. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The closest the band comes to directly sounding like Motley Crue is the intro guitar riff to "War of the Worlds" which pays tribute to "Live Wire." Other than that, it's a unique release. The anthem "Feeling Overloaded" is probably the best track here, with Gillen's charismatic vocals meshing with lead guitarist Eric Kluiber, who provides an inspirational guitar solo. Drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez and bassist Michael Massie provide a particularly powerful foundation, enhancing songs like "Where are You Running To?," where Gillen leads the band through pain-filled lyrics like "Why don't you see you're living a nightmare / What you're doing to me, girl, this is not fair." The outro of the song could have been extended a bit more, as it seems like there were additional musical ideas that would have made the track better, but it's still good as is.

By the time you reach the final song, "Sick," there is no doubt you will see Overloaded as a band with potential. Gillen's lyrics again describe being taken for granted as he sings, "I believed for so long that everything went wrong / It all went wrong because of you / I created the demons without any reasons / I guess that's what sick people do." While I wish they would have dropped the "I guess" in the last phrase, Gillen is convincing in his anguish. The music crescendos and de-crescendos appropriately conclude the song.

I normally don't factor packaging into evaluating a band, but the disc features a tri-fold layout with easy-to-read lyrics, a professional presentation for an indie band and one that reinforces the professional sound of the music.

Overloaded is another one of those bands that would benefit from latching onto a national tour to gain exposure. They would have fit in well on the current Guns'n'Roses/Sebastian Bach tour as the opening act because they have the attitude of a band that knows success is a matter of patience, because it will happen. This one will qualify as a top rock release of 2006.

Rating: B+

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