Review Summary: After more than 20 years, countless albums and innumerable tours veteran metal institution Overkill charges up for the shocking assault that is The Electric Age
When Blitz and crew dropped Ironbound a few years ago people were floored. Overkill had been a metal omnipresence for years. They continued to release solid, if not ho-hum albums that did little to deviate from their previous offerings. Having been a fan for years and years I will admit that I too slept on their releases at that time. Like the tides, it was almost inevitable that every 2 or 3 years Overkill would put out another release. Fans of the band would buy it, enjoy it and then go back to listening to their older works. Nothing about these releases were bad, however they were nothing compared to masterpieces like Horrorscope or Feel the Fire. Then in early 2010 Ironbound was released, fans and critic were amazed. This was not a release from an aged, past their prime band. Ironbound was a technical, thrashy driving release that was great from top to bottom (if you want to know more, please see a related review or better yet go buy the album!). So after two years, and an announcement of a new album fans were left wondering if Overkill had anything left. I am happy to say you can take those doubts and throw them straight in the gutter.
The Electric Age carries on what I consider the 4th generation of Overkill. As much as they have always been identified by the duo of Blitz and D.D. their sound has been defined by who sits the drum kit. Rat Skates, Sid Falk and Tim Mallare all have distinct albums associated with them. Ron Lipnicki (Imortalis, Ironbound and Electric Age) is currently on that throne. His sound is just as pronounced here, with a loud driving bass drum, tight mechanical snare and crisp cymbal work. Needless to say if you enjoyed what you heard on Ironbound it is back again here in spades. Some early, critical reviews have harped on the fact that this release sounds too much like their last effort. I would not consider that a problem, the tracks here are similar in sound and production yet certainly set themselves apart.
Starting off with a pair of six minute songs featuring everything you love and expect from Overkill the album builds to what is arguably the best song on this release. Wish You Were Dead is sure to become a fan favorite and is hands down the best track they have done since Elimination. Linsk and Tailer are back in perfect form, Blitz wails like a 20 year old Jersey hooligan and DD and Ron lay down some amazing rhythm. The production on this release is once again stellar. The bass is thick and ever-present, and the drums are impossible to resist. On an overall basis this release actually ‘feels’ faster than Ironbound (if that’s even possible) with more of an old-school thrash vibe than any of their release over the past 15 years. The only slow spot for this reviewer were 2 tracks towards the middle of the release. Black Daze and 21st Century Man just did not speak to me as much as the rest of the release and are what hold me back from giving this a 5 star release. Black Daze sounds akin to something that would have been released by the band in the late 90’s. Good Night is an excellent way to close the album, do not let the acoustic introduction fool you.
In the end, we are left with another stunning release from one of the hardest working bands in metal. For those who were wondering how Overkill could possible top Ironbound just one listen and you will have your answer.
Wish You Were Dead
Old Wounds, New Scars
Drop the Hammer