27 April 2013

Overkill - The Electric Age

I think I may have picked the wrong album to review here.  Some music is just supposed to be reviewed by Chris Jermyn (our resident Lord of Trash), but this is where I ended up on my random choices this week so I have to pick up the gauntlet of trash for the team and plough straight into the first Overkill album I have ever listen to in my life. Brief history lesson - formed in 1980 in New Jersey, only singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni remaining from the original line-up, this band has had many line up changes and at one point Dan Spitz from Anthrax was amongst their ranks.  Also, like a proper trash metal band they have an iconic logo mascot in the form of "Chaly", a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, horns, bony wings, and green eyes which is on most of the albums.  Whilst never setting the world media on fire, they have always been popular in the metal magazine (well, before they turned into Smash Hits - ala Kerrang).  Now here is the chance for Overkill to impress someone who has always been curious as to what they sound like.

Now if you are looking for ballads, serious songs about the environment or metal with a dubstep influence, I recommend looking elsewhere.  You are not going to find it hear and you may need your ears cleaned out anyway if you want dubstep influenced thrash metal.  This album is as honest a thrash metal album as I have ever heard.  This does mean that they are not exactly reinventing the wheel - like most sub-genres of metal there is little room for change because the audience does not expect of want this. So from the beginning the band has trouble in making a wider audience interested.  But what if that is not their aim.  I personally think that this is an advantage that they do care what the rest of the world wants and have kept to what they want to do. This is their strongest card and my deity do they play it well.

From the beginning of this album to the end, there is no let up in the speed or guitar solos.  This is where all the solos from Metallica's St. Anger went to be appreciated.  I love the fact that this is an amazing piece of thrash metal that does not try to keep up with the in crowd.  Opening track "Come And Get It" starts things rolling with its brooding opening and from there to "Good Night" (the only track to have the acoustic guitar opening before the trash comes back in (a trash metal album must)) you are rarely below the speed manic.  Only "Old Wounds, New Scars" dips the quality of this record.  Whilst not a world changer, it is certainly a game changer for me at least.  Overkill, you have impressed me and I can also report that Mr Jermyn is impressed too.  If you are even curious what modern trash would sound like by legends of the genre, this is the record to start with.

9.5 out of ten - Almost perfect....Almost

You can purchase it from here

You can visit the band's website

You can listen to the album on Spotify

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