“Claiming Supremacy”

By El Chief

The fourth album from Italy's thrash specialists Game Over is now out. "Claiming Supremacy" continues to find the foursome paying homage to the early '80's thrash scene, while throwing a slight nod to more recent deathcore bands like Boston's Unearth. For example, the harmonic mid-tempo churner "Last Before the End" would fit well on Testament's "Practice What You Preach." But for every aggressive head banger, there's a bouncy undertow bound to pull the lobe gaugers out of the shadows and into the pit.

My favorite track on the full-length is "My Private Nightmare." The snare pounds straight out of the gate launching into a twin-guitar salvo. The resulting gallop carries the band into a James Hetfield-esque rant before the guitars break free of the reigns in a chaotic breakdown. Meantime "Broken Trails" features the kind of swing Anthrax's Scott Ian used to be able to crank out in his sleep. Game Over have studied their thrash playbooks well.

If you've read between the lines of this review, then you already know the downside. There's almost nothing new to be found in "Claiming Supremacy." It feels like a tribute band that has decided to play (more or less) original songs instead of sleepwalking their way through Megadeth's "The Conjuring" one more time. They even pull over the song "Blessed Are the Heretics" from an EP released earlier this year. The latter half of the album feels like you've wandered into a high school talent show. Still, I would've played the hell out of this album if it was still 1987.