A couple of years ago I reviewed Game Over’s last album, Burst Into the Quiet; In that review I complimented the band on their superior chops but bemoaned their reliance on rehashed Bay Area themes and ideas. I said that the band obviously had the talent to progress if they could but avoid the trap that seems to have befallen so many of these young neo-thrash acts – stagnation, or at least repetition of the same small canon of ideas.

I’m happy to report, then, that two years later the band seem to have taken every last word of my advice on board for third full-length outing Crimes Against Humanity, turning in a fresh, very-mature offering indeed.

The key here is variety. Of course, they haven’t shed the thrash skin that fitted them so well. At times they sound incredibly like UK thrash veterans Xentrix, but beyond a lot of highly serviceable double kick from Anthony ‘Vender’ Dantone and the expected gang vocals come chorus time, it actually sounds like a large amount of thought and effort has been put into this release in a desire to extend the band’s life expectancy. This is going to test the patience of die hard thrashers like me, of course, but you can’t deny just how comfortable this band sounds plying a more straight-up metal furrow. The excellent Astral Matter sounds like something Sentinel Daily editor Scott Adams’ faves Striker might have put out, and it’s doubtless pretty exciting if aggressive, tuneful heavy metal is your thing. Vocalist/bassist Reno Chiccoli definitely has the pipes for this more demanding material, and guitarists Alessandro Sansone and Luca Zironi are both up to the task, so why the hell not?

On Crimes Against Reality Game Over have proved that they have more than one string to their collective bows, demonstrating a flair and aptitude for more than just the slices of heads-down thrash mayhem their previous releases were rammed to the gunwhales with; And whilst this album might not be fully to my tastes as a fan of undiluted thrash even I have to admit that it’s a bloody record. Bloody good indeed.