Review Summary: A marvelous set of riffs and drumming that is sadly marred by a lack of variety toward the end.
To start things off, The Electric Age by Overkill pretty much does what it says on the cover. This is a no-holds barred thrash metal assault that shocks you with more volts than it would take to give Stephen Hawking an erection. There isn't a moment on here that you will listen to and not want to thrash your neck around like a manic soccer hooligan getting bottled. This is a continuation of the progress Overkill made on their comeback release Ironbound that showcased a remarkable combination of their older style of speed-based thrash with the more melodic sounds found in a lot of modern thrash. The Electric Age is a really solid accomplishment that more than lives up to their back catalogue, and that statement alone should be enough to persuade thrash enthusiasts to listen to this.
The riffs are, of course, the back bone of any thrash release, and on The Electric Age they are consistently very well written. After the clean, soothing introduction of closing song Good Night, this song then morphs into one of the most enjoyable riff-fests the band has put out in years. This is not the only song that contains some monster riff work, as both of the six minute songs that kick the album off show off a fantastic variety of riffs at all speeds and not one of them lets their respective song down. The rest of the instruments here are no slouch either. The mid-section of the album shows off some of the best drumming on the album, including Black Daze, a song that seems to have garnered a little negative feedback. Save Yourself and All Over But The Shouting show some really cool bass work as well that still seeps through the mix as with all of Overkill's works-this is a band that does not let down the bass enthusiasts out there ever.
The one thing that really kills off this album is the fact that the songs themselves are not varied enough. Sure, moments such as the aforementioned acoustic section to Good Night attempt to switch things up a bit, but for the most part this is a speed-based thrash album. The production is also a cause for concern, with it being little too clean this time, unlike Ironbound where it felt as thrash as it gets. These songs have a very sharp feel to them, but it is just a little too over-produced and modern sounding, and therefore does not get the nod ahead of Ironbound as the choice modern Overkill album. Thankfully, the producers made one right decision and that was the mixing of Bobby Blitz's unique voice into the sound. His voice is as strong as ever, with his signature high pitched wail ringing out over the top of the mayhem the instruments are creating, and it leads to a fantastic vocal performance.
The Electric Age, overall, is the second strongest Overkill album since their glory years, behind the incredible feat of modern thrash that was Ironbound. These songs are all strong on there own, but when pressed into one long album the lack of real variety eventually becomes a little wearing and tedious on the ears.