Album Review :
Overcome - The Great Campaign of Sabotage

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Band: Overcome

Title: The Great Campaign of Sabotage

Label: Facedown Records

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Reviewer: Joshua Clark

Track Listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Reverence Part 2
  3. Body of Death
  4. Profession
  5. Alone In A Crowd
  6. The Breath Of He Who Kills
  7. Seeker Sensitive
  8. Amnesty
  9. Clemency
  10. Lifting The Weak
  11. Campaign Of Sabotage
  12. Outro

Overcome has been around for nearly two decades. The band started in 1992 and with Facedown Records back in 1997 and that makes it only fitting to come back and release their new album on Facedown Records. Another landmark for both the band and the label is that this is the 100th album release on Facedown Records. Overcome was the cornerstone of the label in their early years and helped put the Facedown name out there. This just shows the success Overcome has had in their long history.

This release is my first exposure to Overcome and that isn’t really that surprising since this is Overcome’s first album release in over ten years. So there is no denying Overcome has a notable history but a lot of things have changed in the last 10 years, especially the hardcore/metal scene this band is rooted in.

Musically I found this fairly generic. Don’t get me wrong it can be enjoyable and it’s not bad to listen to, but we have heard this type of sound who knows how many times. Overcome were hardcore legends in the past and had a good amount of influence due to it. But that doesn’t show here, instead it is just a fairly typical sound from anyone else in the hardcore/metal genre.Yes it’s heavy, intense, engaging at times, and by no means the worst guitarist; I’m just saying it’s nothing too inventive and unique.  I just found the sound pretty predictable and wasn’t too surprised by anything I heard on here. My favorite aspect though was the drumming, there were some pretty awesome drum fills throughout and this helped keep the album going.

Displayed on this album are some pretty average vocals. They are pretty good for awhile but I found that he had one tone pretty much all the way through and the album suffered from not having much variety vocally. Due to this fact he just blends into a line of sub-par vocalists and failed to hold my attention. Another issue I found is that there wasn’t enough differentiation between the music and his voice. This seemed to just meld together into “one” instrument and didn’t allow the other instruments to breath/ have their own space. Which that just made everything seem one dimensional; resulting in not giving the vocals and music that separate identity they deserved.

Overcome was able to give this album a bit of a boost with the lyric quality and they surely don’t slouch on their message. The lyrics show a bold, unfailing faith in Christ. The album reflects this with topics touching on not being ashamed of Christ, relying on his strength/standing firm, fighting against the enemy, and to forever hold on to that faith you have in Him. The lyrics are honest and all written by guitarist Jason Stinson (who use to provide the vocals for the band). All these lyrics reflect the heart and great ministry of the band; this definitely was a highlight for me. I was just disappointed that not all the songs matched up in musical quality to the solid lyrics.

The production on the album sadly makes the band seem a little dated. It makes it seem like this is some band releasing their first unsigned album. Which is unfortunate because obviously this isn’t the case since the band has released a number of albums and they deserve better for a return album. I honestly don’t think the songs are awful but the production just kills what they could and should be.

I didn’t hate this but they’re just a fair number of things that hindered this album from being something solid. Initially when I got this I was pretty excited to hear this album based off of hearing the first track  “Alone In A Crowd.” While this track was solid it becomes a problem when pretty much all of them sound like this. So that being said there is not enough diversity to make the rest of these tracks stand out from one another. They blended in too much and without paying close attention it gets hard to distinguish them as nothing more than one track. This just doesn’t make this album stick out as anything special to me. There were still the tracks I enjoyed like “Profession” and “Alone In The Crowd.”

Overall: Sadly Overcome’s return is not all that it could have been. But I’m sure to those who have been following this band since the beginning they are still going to be overjoyed that one of their favorite bands is coming back to the scene. But as far as getting new fans with this release I think Overcome is going to struggle topping some current bands and to draw in a new set of fans. Myself being one of those potential new fans that wasn’t necessarily drawn into Overcome from this release. I’ll spin this every now and again but this album did not make Overcome my new favorite band and one I want to follow with great interest. I respect their message and what they’ve set out to accomplish, as well as build up from what they’ve done before.  The Great Campaign Of Sabotage isn’t exactly the ideal comeback album; they’re some significant things that hold it down. If the band wants to truly make a big comeback in the industry there are a few changes they need to make to draw in the masses.

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