Overkill has always been one of those bands that I could never understand why they never got huge. When people talk about the “Big Four,” Overkill is always in the conversation alongside Testament and Exodus. While I could never justify Overkill being part of the “Big Four,” they are one hell of a band and I have a long history with them. During my high school days, and I am aging myself here, Feel the Fire and Taking Over were huge. Hell, if you went back a little further, you would know that Power in Black was Overkill’s first demo and it contained a lot of what became Feel the Fire. The Power in Black demos were huge in the underground tape trading scene where we traded demos from bands such as Metallica, Slayer and more.
During the old days of Overkill, I could never get enough of them. Once The Years of Decay came out, they took their sound to a whole new level. That album is simply crushing. That one was followed by Horrorscope, which was underrated. There are some classics on there. W.F.O, The Killing Kind and From the Underground and Below were amazing albums as well. After that point, I would not say that they fell off my radar, but I was never quite taken by their albums. Every time I listen to those albums, I ask myself why I do not listen to them more, but then it takes me forever to get back to them again.
With all that being said, I guess that I should actually talk about The Electric Age, which is the latest entry into the discography of these thrash metal masters. From the opening riffs, you know that you are listening to Overkill. You have that classic thrash sound that Overkill seems to be the best at doing and then the undeniable presence of D.D. Verni’s bass (listen to my interview with D.D. Verni). The one thing that is ever present in Overkill’s sound are that amazing bass sound and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocals. Blitz is still as powerful as ever with those raspy vocals. He is one of the best thrash metal vocalists of all time. Love or hate his voice, but it has defined thrash through the years.
With The Electic Age, the first thing that pops in your mind is that they may never stop bringing the metal. They are as heavy as ever and they do what they do well. After all, The Electic Age is their sixteenth album. Not many bands can say that.
The beginning of the album is simply crushing. “Come and Get It,” “Electric Rattlesnake” and “Wish You Were Dead” are just damn good song any way you slice it. After those three though, the songs are just good. They are just not anything special though. They start to blend into each other and they start to get awfully repetitive. I have a big pet peeve with repetition, so that is not to say that everyone will not be taken by them, but for me, some of them border on annoying.
With all of that being said, what The Electric Age is missing is that classic track that every Overkill album has where you stop and say “this song is worth the purchase price alone.” Perhaps “Come and Get It” may be that song someday, but right now, it lacks the punch of songs like “Battle, “It Lives,” etc,
Overall, the album is very strong and thrash fans not familiar with Overkill (shame on you) will really get into it. For me, I expect more, but that is not putting this album down in any way. I would listen to it any day of the week and be happy.
The Electric Age Tracklist
“Come and Get It” – 6:17
“Electric Rattlesnake” – 6:19
“Wish You Were Dead” – 4:19
“Black Daze” – 3:55
“Save Yourself” – 3:43
“Drop the Hammer Down” – 6:25
“21st Century Man” – 4:12
“Old Wounds, New Scars” – 4:11
“All Over But the Shouting” – 5:30
“Good Night” – 5:36
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Lead vocals
Dave Linsk – Lead guitar, Backing vocals
Derek “The Skull” Tailer – Rhythm guitar, Backing vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass, Backing vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums