Overlord SR was formed in 1980 and has gone by several name variations before settling on this one. Created in Fayetteville, NC, they clawed their way out of the local scene, eventually relocating to California, a necessity at the time. Blending Heavy and Power Metals with a touch of NWOBHM, they are a throwback to a day-long past. The good thing is metalheads love their nostalgia, and there is still a vibrant audience ready for this style of music today.
- Steve Sosa – Vocals
- Wildman George Koerber – Guitars/Backing Vocals
- Craig Dunham – Guitars/Backing Vocals
- Jason Fisher – Bass
- David “Pop Pop” Morris – Drums
March 4, 2022
Exitus Stratagem Records
- The Power Of Metal
- Holding The Front Line
- In Ancient Times
- The Revelation
- Beginning Of The End
Right off the bat, I get serious Saxon vibes from “The Power Of Metal.” Steve has a similar delivery to Biff Byford, and the title is close to “Power And The Glory,” so my brain is making happy connections. There really are some major NWOBHM influences here, which I love to hear. Having grown up with some of those bands as early favorites, this is like a trip down memory lane. The guitars are heavy, the drums have a great gallop to them, and the bass thunders hard through the entire song. It’s a little bit of Heaven in music form.
I get a similar sense from “Holding The Front Line.” The lyrics are heavy on the historic wording and make me want to go into battle with my sword held high. Overlord SR definitely has the right tone and themes for this style of music. This eventually morphed into bands like Sabaton, drawing a direct line from the beginning through evolution.
“In Ancient Times” has some really nice guitar work, primarily through the solos. The rhythm section is rock solid, never missing a beat and shifting the tempo precisely, going from verse to chorus to bridge and back. “The Revelation” opens with howling winds and the sound of armor clanking as they move before the guitar comes in slow and haunted. This is the song that slowly builds to a major Heavy Metal anthem. The rhythm is moderate, and the guitars are heavy but melodic. The drums go heavier on the cymbals, adding a lot of punctuation to the musical phrases.
Another slower starting track is “Prophet,” though it gets faster quickly. The intro serves as an appetizer before you get a Judas Priest-style riff. So many parts of this record remind me of the late 70s/early 80s Metal standards, which makes me happy. I never want that era to be forgotten or lost, and Overlord SR is keeping it alive and well.
“Deceiver” opens with a killer drum intro that leads to a heavy rhythm. The bass is very present on this track. Jason has been here the whole time; this is just one of the tracks he stands out more for some reason. He moves forward a bit in the mix, or I’m just listening for him more this time; either way, his playing is an integral part of the compositions on this entire record. The tolling bell at “Beginning Of The End” heralds the doom this song ushers in. the chants and the doom-laden tempo give this song a different feel than the rest of the record, but the song still fits the theme as a whole.
Overlord SR is a throwback band in so many excellent ways. Clean vocals with lots of power behind them, lyrics based on battles, bombastic rhythms, and a dual guitar attack that rivals any of the old guards define this album. The disc’s classic Heavy Metal/NWOBHM feel gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling since I grew up on that style. One of my first concerts in 1983 was Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Fastway, and they could have been on that tour and fit in perfectly. Long live Metal!
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 8
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.60