Review Summary: The New Overkill album is a solid slice of Thrash Metal. Nothing More, Nothing Less
I believe we are at the point where I can just say “Overkill released a new record” and be done with this entire review. Since they formed they’ve been one of the more consistent bands in thrash metal with really only one or two stinkers. While their 2000’s work was bit of a slump in their discography, they’ve been on fire since 2010 with the release of Ironbound
. Since then, I feel like we’ve become adjusted to having some solid thrash metal from the legendary band until they break-up. Admittedly, The Grinding Wheel
did start to show some cracks in the foundation so to speak. It was a really solid album, but it was obvious that there were some problems that needed to be worked out. So, what about The Wings of War
❓ Well, it’s nothing particularly new.
Please keep in mind that I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the band haven’t really changed. There’s certainly some comfort in a band you can trust. On this album, they really haven’t betrayed that trust. We’ve got a lot of fun thrash metal here and there are some really good songs. “Head of A Pin” was a fantastic single to release (should’ve been the first one) due to it’s incredibly catchy chorus and the really melodic guitar riff. “A Mother’s Prayer” is another song with a good chorus and a great solo that’s arguably one of the best they’ve head in recent years. Then there’s the more complicated “Distortion” that has a chorus that feels like it’s three different ones put together combined with some really nice guitar riffs and solos. “Hole In My Soul” is another really good song with a catchy chorus and a really nice guitar solo. One of the bigger highlights is “Where Few Dare To Walk” which is almost reminiscent of their 90's work in tone and general pace. It’s a great song too because of the slower and more dramatic riffing and powerful vocals from Bobby and it even has some really solid solos. The overall selection is strong and there is a lot of fun to be had with some of the highlights.
Of course, the highlight of most of these songs is just how good the band sound. Bobby Blitz continues to be the charismatic powerhouse of the group with his fantastic vocals. He brings a lot of personality to tracks like “Batshitcrazy” where he lets himself loose on the chorus in the best way possible. He’s always been a general source of energy in the group and that still applies here. Despite that, the real source of energy here might be Jason Bittner on drums. He keeps all of these songs moving even when they might get less interesting or more stale. His drum fills and rolls on “Out on the Road-Kill” and his powerful drumming on “A Mother’s Prayer” serves as a really strong backbone to the song. The recent inclusion of him into the band has definitely been a worthwhile one and seems to have fired up the rest of the band as well. The guitar duo, Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, seem to be more inspired compared to The Grinding Wheel
. Their riffing is more memorable with a decent amount of variety from the groove of “Where Dare To Walk” to the more standard thrash riff on “Believe In the Fight” or even the more punk-ish energy on “Welcome To the Garden State”. Even better are their solos as they are really good this time around. The fast paced soloing on songs like “Hole In My Soul” and “Batshitcrazy” is a lot of fun to hear along with the more slowed down and melodic solos on something like “Distortion”. Then, there is good old D.D Verni who is a little bit harder to hear than usual. You can still catch him on “Welcome To the Garden State”, “Distortion”, and “Last Man Standing” where he is still being the great bassist that he is.
It’s hard to add much more as this is essentially just another great Overkill album. I would consider tracks like “Welcome To the Garden State” or “Last Man Standing” to be weaker songs, but both would work great in a live setting. The former does sound like a lesser version of “Old School” and the latter is mostly just an alright lead single that doesn’t do enough to stand out besides a neat bridge and some good drumming. Really, this album just continues the streak that Overkill have had since 2010’s Ironbound
and it’s arguably slightly stronger than 2017’s The Grinding Wheel
. It’s not going to absolutely blow your mind. What it will do is provide a really fun slice of thrash metal that’s bound to get your blood pumping at least. If you’re an Overkill fan, there isn’t a whole lot that should stop you from really enjoying this release. It’s just nice to hear that Overkill are still doing what Overkill does best.
"Head of A Pin"
"A Mother's Prayer"
"Out On the Road-Kill"