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Overkill "The Wings of War"



Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.  There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.  The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  It isn't even all thrash either, one thing that is also obvious in abundance here is the melody present throughout all 10 tracks.

Overkill - The Wings of War

There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious.  That having been said, last track "Hole in My Soul" is a cracking finisher.  As I said though, the energy level is consistently high and there's a real sense of the band having created something they can be really proud of.

I am scoring this a 4 out of 5 just for the fact that even at the mediocre stages the album is still another great example of the old guard giving a Metal Music 101 lesson to all aspiring young metal bands out there.  



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When you reviewed Candlemass and The Door of Doom, you reviewed the last album I purchased a copy of, and here you review the last album I down loaded on Spotify. If you had reviewed Manilla Road and Out of the Abyss, we would be right in line, but you would never have done that, since unlike me, you are smart enough not to be duped by spotify into thinking that came out in 2018. I've been listening to that downloaded on Spotify and believing it to be Mr Shelton's swan song like a ne culturne asshole might. I see now it came out in 2005 and is a compilation to boot, so here you have my confessional.

As for the Wings of War, I think it's awesome, especially the drumming you mention. "Batshitcrazy" is my favorite cut. I like to listen to Overkill when I drive, but it might not help.

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I was a big fan of Overkill in the 80's and rated them pretty much on the same level as Megadeth and Anthrax, just below Metallica and Slayer. In hindsight I rate them higher than Megadeth and much higher than Anthrax based on their 'classic era' output as well as their live shows. Anthrax hasn't aged well for me aside from Spreading The Disease.

Aside from seeing them live for the fourth, and unfortunately last, time in 1999 I had mostly lost track of them after 1994's WFO, which I hated, until I heard Ironbound in 2010. Ironbound totally blew me away and I've been back on the bandwagon since. The three albums after, The Electric Age, White Devil Armory and The Grinding Wheel are all very solid and I was expecting more of the same from album #19. What I wasn't expecting was another album as good as Ironbound. The Wings Of War is a fabulous album, completely in the vein of old school thrash without sounding dated or forced (cough, Hardwired, cough).


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WFO is Fucking awesome!!. The next release was The Killing kind and actually piss me off a lot...I think its difficult to keep that level.

Anyways. Bobby G era is their best still. Under the influence,The years of decay albums.?

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Yep, I agree, "W.F.O" was an awesome album.  The bass was turned up very high in the mix, but with a talent like D.D. Verni playing, it's not a problem at all!  I prefer the new era of Overkill (which I define as 2010's Ironbound through the present day) above all, but I really enjoy the classic albums as well.  Albums like "Taking Over" and "Horrorscope" are thrashterpieces in my opinion.  My all-time favorite Overkill album is 2012's "The Electric Age", with "Ironbound" in a close second.  "Horrorscope", "Taking Over" and "Feel the Fire" round out my top 5.  But I'd have all of these most recent 5 albums in my top 10.  I'm not as crazy about the middle period of their career, where they experimented a lot with a groove-oriented approach, but I still like a few of those albums:  "W.F.O.", "From the Underground and Below" and "Necroshine" to name them.  I enjoy all of their albums to some degree, but the ones I tend to listen to the least are "I Hear Black", "The Killing Kind", and "Relix".


Overkill are my favorite thrash band of all time, and it sounds like their 20th studio album is set for release in February 2022!!

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