Overkill need no introduction, they are thrash masters and since I got into them in the 80’s I have never felt disappointed by one of their releases, no matter what people say, these are the dogs bollocks, always have been, always will be. So once I’ve got my fan boy association out of the way, how does it compare to more recent outings?
There is a new drummer for this one, Jason Bittner has replaced reasonable long time thrash time keeper Ron Lipnicki, the bare bones are stable and Jason hammers the hell out of the kit. For the opener, the assaulting ‘Last Man Standing’ obliterates your speakers, the fast fury of thrash is a special one to be with and Overkill have this in abundance, along with ‘Bat Shit Crazy’…a perfect description of the energy that this NJ band possess. What may deter some minority fans is a slight return to late 90’s groove influence. I’ve found that with ‘Distortion’. But you know, Overkill still pound the pavement and still have respect for such high quality music. ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is another tirade of thrash, much like the track ‘Old School’ from ‘05’s ‘ReliXIV’, there’s a cool narrative.
Fairly recent releases like ‘Ironbound’, ‘Electric Age’ and ‘The Grinding Wheel’ were fuller hard edged thrashers, ‘The Wings of War’ picks up the bones of the likes of latter millennial releases and even latter 90’s ones. Overall, this album covers most of Overkill’s bases. Its fresh, exciting and live, well you know they are going to kick your ass. Whilst not a classic, its Overkill, its quality, it still has relevance and an unrivalled ability to say “f*ck you” to the naysayers. They are still in MY big four, and with them bringing their “mean green killing machine” to our little island very soon, there are many tracks that will lay you out flat in a live show setting.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)