VERNI - Barricade
October 19, 2018, 10 months ago
Solo effort from Overkill bassist/co-founder DD Verni, offering a wide variety of sounds within ten tracks. Former 'Kill skinsman Ron Lipnicki is the only constant, as guitars were handled by a rotating roster of luminaries, including (but not limited to) Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Bruce Franklin (Trouble), Jeff Waters (Annihilator) and Mike Romeo (Symphony X). Even with those metal stalwarts, don't come expecting Overkill, or even Bronx Casket Company (an entity with whom Verni has recorded four albums). Verni handles lead vocals throughout, beginning with the F-bomb laced, punk fueled take on Pantera that opens the disc ("Fire Up"). Overall, the bassist characterizes the material as, "Some metal, punk, classic rock...it's all in there, from Queen to Green Day to Metallica."
There's a countrified twang in pop-punk "Miracle Drug" (trying hard to be Volbeat?). Staccato stomp of "Off My Leash" gives way to the hit single viable chorus of "(We Are) The Broken Ones", which says, "We are the broken ones. We are the freaks and scum!" Charming, in a Manson meets Zombie world. Speaking of Rob Zombie, he should call about using the thumping "The Party Of No". First half of "Night Of The Swamp King" is as sludgy as the title hints, but then grooves to mid-tempo, countrified Volbeat sound. Lone piano (kid you not) begins "We Were Young" sing-along ballad. Guess the Metallica reference is reserved for "Slow My Ride", but rest assured it's not of the kind that San Fran and NJ were instrumental in creating thrash, more like the established, major label older statesmen, circa "the black album". Disc closer "Heaven Calling" is a bit of a head scratcher, doesn't fit into an easy category, sort of a slower, light-hearted Alice Cooper number, like "Hello Hooray". Exactly what a solo album is supposed to do, stretch your wings outside the confines of better known day job. Get it out of the system, then thrash!