Review: Overdose – You’re Really Big! (1989)

Review: Overdose – You’re Really Big! (1989)

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OverdoseYou’re Really Big!

Upon first seeing this, and reading the title alone, the first thing that came to mind was that this is probably a “don’t take us too seriously” type of project. Well was that ever a wrong assumption, because it’s anything but. Overdose are a Brazilian power/thrash band that formed back in the 1980s, and You’re Really Big! is their second release. Thrash metal and power metal go together very well, which my love for it is credited to the mighty David Wayne of Metal Church and Reverend, but this brand is certainly up there as well. The formula mixes for a heavy sound that isn’t too threatening, carrying major and minor keys with an inviting yet semi-eerie approach.

The clearness and brightness to the vocals is one of the most noticeable features of You’re Really Big! While heavier guitars and thrashy rhythms may suggest a harsher nature, the vocalist never dips into that territory. Not even so much as one menacing shriek is pumped out, and because of this, the lyrics are also very comprehensible. They mostly touch on great wonders of the universe, space, nature, and society. “Nuclear Winter” is one of the best tracks, because of the way it lays the vocals atop such smooth instrumentation. Plus, I fucking hate winter so I can relate. Chants and gang vocals are dropped in from time to time, and while it gets somewhat corny at times, it at least fits well.

For a forty minute album, there’s a fair amount of instrumental tracks, and even though two of them are barely over a minute in length, all three of them use a similar method to the madness. Slow, acoustic guitars and string instruments are slapped together to create solid transitions, and the one longer one “Age Of Aquarius” is a fret happy lump of energy that flows through the soul. None of them let up on the welcoming feeling, though. Another big standout is the beautiful ballad known as “Let Us Fly”. This is a calm song with such a soft and enticing intro, followed by steady drum kicks and heavy guitars to back it up. There’s certainly a medieval feel to this track, which is also subtly leaked into other songs too. Same can be said about the usage of keys on many of the songs, which adds a lot to the established atmosphere.

Of course, there’s a flip side to all this beauty and cleanliness. The thrash comes in when looking at the solos of the speedier tracks, and the haunting nature and tone of the hard hitters. “Stoneland” is a fine example of this, with strong riffs that bleed through the speakers and kick the intensity up a notch. Album closer “Fight For Our Dreams” definitely contains that solid edge to it as well. The thrashier moments definitely aren’t as prominent as the power metal ones, but the thrashier tracks are actually less memorable, so I view that as a blessing in disguise.

All said, there’s a lot to be taken from this beast. For seekers of a face-melting thrasher, look elsewhere, because while it’s certainly a feature that breaks through, the format is taken from power metal, and there’s a lot of softer moments. On the other hand, if that kind of variety and addition of instruments not traditionally used in metal is a turn on, then this is the perfect treat for you. The musicianship is absolutely stellar, and this needs to be revisited.

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