Overdrive – Overdrive

1989 (no label)
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Doug Levy – Lead vocals, backing vocals
Stacy Puckett – Guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy Prior – Guitar, backing vocals
Joe McLaughlin – Bass, backing vocals
Bobby “The Basher” Collins – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Big Guns
  2. Hellbound
  3. Slow Song
  4. Living Sacrifice

Side 2:

  1. Mark My Words
  2. Rodent of the Piper
  3. Crusade

Overdrive described themselves as “gothic power metal,” but I think it would be best to replace “gothic” with “progressive.” In 2006, this demo, a later demo (A Grave Mistake), and earlier demos from the bands that became Overdrive were compiled on CD. You can still find the mp3s of this album for cheap if you dig around. This type of metal wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea back in the day, but if you like bands like Armored Saint, Sacred Warrior, Queensryche, etc, you would probably like at least some of what you hear here. I even detect a slight King Diamond influence on the vocals here and there – maybe that is where they got the “gothic” part?

Overdrive – A Grave Mistake

A Grave Mistake
1989 (no label)
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Doug Levy – Lead vocals, harmony vocals, backing vox
Bill Goodwin – Bass guitar, backup vocals
Jimmy Prior – Rhythm guitar, leads, harmony vocals, backing vox
Stacy Puckett – Rhythm guitar, harmony leads, acoustic, keys, baking vox
Bobby Collins – Drums and percussion

Side 1:

  1. When the “Saints” Go Marching In
  2. Standing in Line

Side 2:

  1. Light a Candle for Me
  2. You Need a Friend

Overdrive was a progressive power metal band that list Barren Cross, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Deliverance, Metallica, Queensryche, and Anthrax as influences. I don’t really see the Kiss influence, but the others I can see in their mid-80s versions. Of course, they could have also listed bands that also have these influences from that time period as well (Helloween, Fates Warning, Leatherwolf, etc) as better references in my opinion. All of these songs were released on their 2006 compilation CD Remembering the Basher, along with their earlier self-titled demo and demos from when they were known as Damascus and then Sacred Heart. The sound quality is quite good on this demo, and the song writing is almost up to par with the bands they were influenced by (a few rough spots, especially in the song intros, but nothing too bad). The weird thing is that the cassette card is designed and printed in backwards order on the card. I believe that was intentional due to the name of the demo being about a “mistake.” But you never know with these underground demos.