Overcome – No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets


Overcome_EP_2013I have had the privilege of writing reviews for some great iconic Christian bands, like Tourniquet for an example. Overcome are one of those iconic bands that are veterans at the game of hardcore, they have been around since about 1997, and carry the distinction of being the first band ever signed to the Christian hardcore label FACEDOWN RECORDS. Today the label can count itself as one of the foremost authorities in the hardcore Christian music scene. The fact that they have been around the block a couple of times sets my expectations high towards them with the release of their latest offering No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets. Also it shows that these guys are not just a passing fad, or one of the latest trend bands that are hitching a ride on the bandwagon of hardcore.

True to the form of one whom has been around for some time and has grasped hold of not only experience but addition to that skill-sets, what you get is one of the better hardcore albums of the year, and it almost a shame that they kept their guitar thrashing energy merely to an EP release. What you get is no wimpy winy vocals, no electronic hum drum nonsense; just pure simplicity that combined with experience equals something that works well for OVERCOME on this release.

If by any chance you’re a hardcore fan then this has to be an addition to your collection. Don’t get me wrong it’s by no means the best hardcore release out there, but it’s at least something fresh and delectable to the ears away from the ‘usual’ hardcore one seems to be lately forced to contend with. Really there are a lot of hardcore bands out there, but many sound alike, and it’s becoming a little tiresome in a way just like the metal-core scene has. Bands like Overcome are necessary revitalizers to the genre, thank goodness. Also its great to see that they have not only maintained life within the scene, but still are as relevant as the day they released their first album. Something that is not always easy to achieve. If they have grown wrinkles over the years, it’s so few that it to the most part goes un-noticed on this release.

“Verum” is a great opener with its oral chaos and thrashing goodness melds an exciting and energized pace that sets in motion the standard for the rest of the EP. I held my breath in anticipation, almost gearing myself for disappointment, but track after track brought a bubbly smile to this lover of hardcore, as I felt they in some way have redeemed the kind of rubbish the scene has had to put up with in the last short while. These guys are solid musicians that like a good symphony have constructed an album that flows with superb ease from song to song, engaging the mood with purpose and sincerity and invoking the listener to join in along in the moment. “Spirit and Flesh” is a hardcore belt out that has nitrous fuelled guitar riffs that are laid down with a roar and sets in mind a picture of a great thunderstorm at work. Also lyrical sets a testimony of their faith, ““How shall we who died to sin, continue to live in its stench?” I enjoy the song structures and their ability to weld old school with new school hardcore is evident in the near perfect “Travail”. A truly great head-banging mosh-pit inducing stomper. The song brings back memories of some of those 80’s speed metal acts like Sacrifice. This is not an album of sweet melodies, and beautiful sceneries, it’s a raw encounter of the hardcore kind, that put on full volume could explode your head inside-out. “Depredation of the Cherish” is in a way hardcore heaven; it has a continued intensity throughout that most hardcore bands fail to achieve, especially the new school hard-schoolers. It does not come across generic or repetitive, touching all the sweet spots of what I look for in hardcore.

Overall; No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets is a solid piece of hardcore musicianship. You’ll find a lot of heavy thrashy riffs throughout the album, never getting too complicated in their song structures, which adds to the listening pleasure. You won’t find gimmicks or extra effects to try to distract you from the roots formula they got going. I like technical drumming, but the album has very little technical in it, especially in the drumming, but at the end it works for them, and playing the album several times over, I think it’s the best route they took, safe, yes, but it works to bring an album that does not lag in its delivery or energy. The album hits more bulls-eyes than what The Great Campaign Of Sabotage did. The overall product from the quality of production, cover art, song structures and energy levels put this album in my books as a solid hardcore release that has to put them somewhere at the top of the best hardcore albums we are going to see this year. In short they put the name of hardcore under a shining light. Truly if you love hardcore, and are tired of the same old same old hardcore that some labels have been releasing, and we have been forced to except to listen to over the last couple of months, then this is welcomed refreshment that has been in urgent need. I don’t like just handing out high scores, but seriously it was hard not to give it what it deserves. Next to LEADERS latest release, its one of the few FACEDOWN release I have listened to in a long while that I actually like from them. As pioneers of the Christian hardcore arena, Overcome with its do or die aggression clearly show us on No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets why they seen as one of the most respected, and looked up too, bands in the scene today. This album if nothing else will certainly inspire.

Rating: 9/10

Written By Donovan de Necker

1. Verum
2. Spirit and Flesh
3. Travail
4. Indwelling
5. No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.
6. Animate the Lifeless
7. Depredation of the Cherished

Band Members:
Jason Stinson… Vocals
Reggie Shumway… Guitar
Jason Obergfoll… Guitar
Ken Williamson… Bass
Alex Woodford… Drums

As The Curtain Falls 7″ vinyl, 1996 [Life Sentence]
Blessed Are The Persecuted, 1996 [Tooth & Nail]
When Beauty Dies, 1997 [Tooth & Nail]
Overcome 7″ vinyl, 1998 [Facedown]
The Life of Death, 1998 [Facedown]
Immortal Until Their Work Is Done, 1999 [Facedown]
More Than Death, 2001 [Facedown]
The Great Campaign of Sabotage, 2011 [Facedown]
No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets, 2013 [Facedown]

Record Label: Facedown Records, Jan. 2013

Weblinks: Facebook / Myspace / Twitter

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Lyric Video Below For Verum


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