Overkill
The Years of Decay


5.0
classic

Review

by Drew Tyler USER (69 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2012 | 183 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Overkill's defining album; A true classic of thrash metal

Nearly every band at some point or another releases their defining album, the album that showcases their sound, attitude, and in many ways who they are. "The Years of Decay" is not only Overkill's defining album, but in many ways defines the very sound of thrash metal. Hailing from New Jersey, Overkill formed in 1980 making them one of the earliest thrash bands to come into existence. The band is also one of the most stable and active thrash bands, having played together for nearly 33 years. 1989 was an incredible year for thrash, with such albums as "Alice in Hell", "Fabulous Disaster", and "Practice What you Preach" bolstering the thrash metal movements resolve. This particular album was the proverbial icing on the cake and it perhaps one of the best thrash albums released in the 80's.

The band draws from their earlier releases and a couple new ideas for this albums sound. Taking technical songwriting and raw energy and putting them together results in a well rounded and compelling release. This album was the band's major label debut, and was financed and distributed by Atlantic Records, resulting in a more high quality sound. Renowned producer Terry Date was brought on board and does a stellar job giving this album a sound that compliments the music perfectly. The overall vibe exhibited here remains more or less aggressive and intense in the heavier tracks, while sounding slightly theatrical with the slow yet very epic title track. The band also took some time to introduce a brand new element to their music with the slow-paced groove oriented "Playing with Spiders/Skullcrusher", and it is nice to see the band trying to expand their sound in this aspect. Considering the already solid musical bass and vibe, Lyrical content turns out be supremely enjoyable and smart as well, with some really catchy and memorable lines throughout the album.

Despite being at an arguable creative peak, not all was well with Overkill. Years of constant touring had taken it toll and tension within the band was at an all time high shortly after the albums release. Unfortunately this would be key songwriter and guitarist Bobby Gustafson's last effort with the band, as he would leave the following year. Nearly all of the material found here was written by Gustafson in a sixth month period, and is sad that the mastermind behind such a classic release nearly dropped off the face of the earth and is now a plumber in Florida. However, the man left behind some of the most memorable material in thrash history and will always have my respect.

The rest of the band sounds great, with some tight drum playing, grooving bass, and some seriously improved vocals from Bobby Blitz. On the Feel the Fire, Blitz opted for a cleaner singer voice, but throughout the years his voice became more raspy and rough resulting in a heavier sounding performance. However Blitz has a habit of being a bit over the top, and it certainly shows here. While the vocals here are an acquired taste and may turn some new listeners off, they remain very unique and recognizable.

While Overkill may have waned a bit in the 90's, "The Years of Decay" shows a young and talented band playing unique and compelling thrash the only way they knew how. There is no arguing the fact that this thrash classic will be enjoyed for many years to come. Despite the slightly rough vocals, this album will most certainly appeal to metal fans with an appreciation for classic thrash. If you haven't heard this album yet, do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

RECOMMENDED TRACKS:
- Time to Kill
- Elimination
- Who Tends the Fire
- The Years of Decay


CREDITS:
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - Vocals
Bobby Gustafson - Guitar
D.D. Verni - Bass
Sid Falck - Drums

Produced by: Terry Date, Overkill
Engineered by: Terry Date, Matt Lane
Mixed by: Terry Date
Mastered by: Howie Weinberg

Recorded: June-July 1989
Released: October 13, 1989

Label: Megaforce/Atlantic Records



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4.3
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Aaron CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Full of imagination and originality, Overkill’s fourth studio album is the ideal thrash experience...

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...

RCA (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

ThrashTillDeath94
June 23rd 2012


600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't just throw 5's around carelessly, this album is truly deserving of it.

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

ThrashTillDeath94
June 23rd 2012


600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hell yeah it does

TheNotrap
June 23rd 2012


8109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"A true classic of thrash metal"
Indeed. Album rules hard, one of their best efforts.

Have a thrash pos.

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

skullkrusher true d00m

FictionalFlames
June 23rd 2012


1516 Comments


gotta get this.

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya

Ovrot
June 23rd 2012


10514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best overkill

Digging: Satan's Satyrs - Demo 2010

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

maybe hororscope is like as gd

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow its hard to decide!

Ovrot
June 23rd 2012


10514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

out on this road takes its toll
and you pay for everything you do
underlights, made me blind
this place is the same as last night
out of control takes its toll
but you learn to live with your dreams
speaking your mind to those you find
listening to what you have to say
I wouldn't change the way
I wouldn't stop the decay

promised the world, as your world
changed before your eyes
and the days became the weeks
and the weeks the years
and no one remembers that very first day
or how it slipped away
forever I wait, pulling in, pulling out
as the motors whine
to remind me I'm home
and I'm here to stay
as we decay
another day
decay away

I'm goin' home, I don't know where
I'm goin' home, not far from here

out on this road, paint this toll
make me whole, set the stage
fill it with anger, fill it with rage
no I don't know what's today
I know it falls in the years of decay
self, sacrifice, everynight
and together we paid a price in blood
that spilled out through the years
and another day passes away
look to the black, drawn farther back
look to each day, see the decay
times I've had, good and bad
win or lose, this is what I choose...

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thrash lives agreed

Ovrot
June 23rd 2012


10514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can't stop it

KILL
June 23rd 2012


71981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not with bands like syslosis and lich king around, thrash will live on in our hearts and dicks

Ovrot
June 23rd 2012


10514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh
syslosis


CaptainDooRight
June 23rd 2012


30030 Comments


dicks[2]

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

ThrashTillDeath94
June 23rd 2012


600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Years of Decay is one of my favorite songs from these guys...

rockandmetaljunkie
June 23rd 2012


3498 Comments


Nicely done mate, another enjoyable Thrashy review. Pos'd
Keep them coming.

I really love this album but for some reason their debut seemed to me as their definite offer.

HenchmanOfSanta
June 23rd 2012


1884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bassline of Nothing to Die For is too good.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

ThrashTillDeath94
June 24th 2012


600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the replies everyone, thanks for reading.




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