Reviewed: April, 2019
Released: 2019, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Pete Mutant
Bloody hell, it’s Overkill album time yet again and here is album nineteen, ‘The Wings of War’. Having just seen Overkill on their most recent tour, I was leaving the writing of this until the last minute so that I would be able to see the band demonstrate some of these songs live then give a proper write up of how these songs work in both mediums. The gig was pretty damn solid as always and the album…is extremely solid as well.
Though they have been in the thrash game since the very start, they haven’t lost their edge and still have this high octane drive which drives so furiously that you’d be surprised they’ve been here for so long. From the first track, ‘Last Man Standing’, we can see that they still have riffs, they still have a pounding rhythm, they still have some frantic solos and Bobby Blitz still has that ridiculous, Banshee-like scream that nearly overpowers everything else. Songs like ‘Head Of A Pin’ show that the groove is definitely still strong whilst the heaviness can certainly be cranked past 10 with the sizeable, yet fairly cheesily titled ‘Bat Shit Crazy’.
The production is key for this type of album and it doesn’t really let down throughout. The digital fuzz to the guitars can be a bit much at times but overall it doesn’t take away from the excellent standard of musicianship that guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer implement. For drummer Jason Bittner, it was his time to shine since joining in 2017, and he has put in a rather glorious shift with some seismic performances during songs like ‘Believe In the Fight’ and ‘A Mother’s Prayer’. Of course, without bassist D.D. Verni, the rhythm just wouldn’t be anything that would be remotely Overkill in fashion so all components work brilliantly well together.
Overkill are a band that have stood the test of time and have battled to be where they are whilst still revelling in this path in life that they have chosen. There’s no apparent tiredness either in their recorded music or live, where they seem to be in their element and will keep on doing what they to until they can’t physically do it no more. ‘The Wings Of War’ is another fine example of what Overkill are most skilled in: the art of thrash. They still seem to be loving life right now and I am certain they will be back in the next two or three years, as punctual as ever, to ride high and melt your face with some quality thrash metal. Could this be the thrash album of 2019? Well…let’s just see.