Overkill is just amazing. I don’t know too many bands that have been around for over 30 years and pumped out over 15 albums and have every one of them have some enjoyment factor(yes even W.F.O). Usually after 5 albums bands start getting stale and recycling themselves. But not Overkill. I don’t know how they do it but I find myself with every new release expecting to finally say “Wow,that was kind of boring” and instead enjoying the shit out of it. That’s not to say there aren’t detractors out there that piss and moan about the days of Horrorscope or The Years of Decay or the people who take issue with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal style. But I think the 2010 release of Ironbound garnered some new found respect and fans thanks to it’s return to ass kicking thrash from the more groove oriented metal that the band mired itself into the past two decades. And because of this any followups would come under the most scrutiny this band probably has had in years due to that success. So now it’s two years later and the latest album ‘The Electric Age’ is about to be unleashed on the general public and once again my expectations of disappointment are met with futility.
Right from the start you know you’re in for another great time with the track ‘Come and Get It’. Ron Lipnicki’s thunderous drums herald an onslaught of thrash that would have been perfect on Ironbound. Electric Rattlesnake continues to kick your ass in the Overkill style. But what’s this? Halfway into the song the groove of past Overkill albums makes it’s appearance known before kicking back into gear. ‘Wish You Were Dead’ reminds me of some of the ripping tunes that Accept of all bands would put out. Just the way Blitz sings this reminds of Udo screeching out Fast as a Shark not to mention the punk influence is also prevalent in that track as well. ‘Black Daze’ slows it down a notch with some more bluesy groove metal that had briefly appeared earlier in the album. ‘Save Yourself’ reminds me a bit of some old Judas Priest in style. ‘Old Wounds,New Scars’ is probably my favorite track due to it’s use of tempo and style changes not to mention the line “Got a lot of mouth for a Jersey white boy ” is pure gold.
Overall there are 10 tracks on The Electric Age and I purposely didn’t go over every track to leave some surprises. D.D. Verni sounds great as usual by making his bass heard but not overwhelming everything else in the mix. Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer have come up with some great guitar riffs on this album. Ron Lipnicki’s drumming on here fits perfectly. And of course Blitz is in great form and may surprise people that had issues with his vocals before with some new tricks. Whatever rejuvenated Overkill for Ironbound continues here and it’s great to see and hear.
Is the Electric Age better then Ironbound? Not really and it doesn’t need to be. It stands on it’s own like every Overkill release has done. I will say this though, there are tracks on The Electric Age that are more memorable and sure to be on set lists to come. I’d highly recommend everyone go out and support Overkill as much as possible. You’re not likely to find too many bands with the consistency and longevity as Overkill has nor be half as prolific as Overkill is. So with that said go out and pick up a copy on March 27th and I’ll leave you with the video for ‘Wish You Were Dead’.