OVERKILL – The Wings Of War
Released: February 22nd, 2019
OVERKILL Line up:
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth| vocals
D.D. Verni| bass, backing vocals
Dave Linsk| lead and rhythm guitars
Derek Tailer| rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Jason Bittner| drums
Not keeping fans waiting, and just over two years since The Grinding Wheel, Jersey’s Green and Black thrash attack, are back. Overkill have kicked 2019 off to a great start with the release of their 19th studio album – The Wings Of War. The first with Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall, Flotsam and Jetsom fame) on drums, since replacing Ron Lipnicki in 2017.
Just shy of a 40-year career, it amazes me that a band of Overkill’s stature can consistently produce a decent album every year or two, without any hint of relinquishing. After hearing the lead single, ‘Last Man Standing’, I was super excited to get my hands on this album for an aural explosion. An urgent siren sounding, leading into what resembles a military marching in unison, I could only envision a nuclear attack and the world in absolute disarray. With the savage pounding of Bittner’s drums and the aggressive guitar riffs, I was taken to world war wrecking crew, where Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth demanded I “get in the mix and FIGHT”. Holy shit this song has some glorious, squealing guitar solo’s, but it was the speed and power of Bittner’s drumming that forced me out of the trenches, he’s certainly earned his throne.
‘Believe In The Fight’ offers no respite from the thrash assault. Blitz proving his vocals have not faltered with age, as he holds on to some lengthy notes. I did find myself thinking “this sounds like every other Overkill song”, through parts of this track and felt that some guitar moments were a little lacklustre. Having said that, it also had some fucking amazing new elements to it, which saved it for me.
Even with Blit’z familiar raspy vocals and the addition of some nice grooves and cymbal crashes, ‘Head Of A Pin’ was the safe player on the album, or if you like, the filler among the killer; making it a lot less memorable than any other of the tracks. I’m not complaining too much, as it allowed this old girl time to come up for air, before ‘Bat Shit Crazy’. Blitz sounds like a rabid dog from the onset, Dave Linsk, and Derek Tailer’s guitar hooks were astounding. Two minutes in and the song comes to an eerily surprising change in tempo, right before those guitar hooks pick you back up and smash you against the wall. This song is going to send fans into a crazed frenzy when we get to witness it live, I can’t wait!
‘Distortion’ dished up some tasty harmonies to start, lasting only a minute before the return of the hard-hitting, in your face thrash assault. I enjoyed the different elements of this track, leaving it as a contender for my favourite track on the album. D.D. Verni opening ‘A Mothers Prayer’, before the heavy pounding of Bittner’s drums kick in. Some killer guitar solos in this track should please faithful fans. A quote from The Soprano’s leads into the punk-infused track ‘Welcome To The Garden State’. Speed guitar duels and drum blasts, a fun track with lyrical chanting “woaahhh”, that will surely have everyone singing along and thrashing about like a maniac. ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ has a nice chuggy feel to it, with more delectable guitar solos. A great track to bang your head to. ‘Out On The Road-Kill’ and ‘Hole In My Soul’ bring Overkill back to their aggressive no holds barred, thrash sound, for a fitting finale to the album.
The album production is bang on, with a great organic sound. It’s not lacking in any way and is everything one would expect from Overkill. Don’t believe me? “I don’t care what you say, fuck you”!
Overkill – The Wings Of War tracklisting
- Last Man Standing
- Believe In The Fight
- Head Of A Pin
- Bat Shit Crazy
- A Mother’s Prayer
- Welcome To The Garden State
- Where Few Dare To Walk
- Out On The Road-Kill
- Hole In My Soul