(9/10) The Bay Area is seen as the cradle of thrash metal and its bands like Metallica that became the spearhead of this genre, no doubt. However, also the East Coast had and has to offer some great thrash metal. New York is the hometown of some excellent bands like Anthrax, groups that embarked many years on a metal journey that still ongoing.
Another very influential band from the East Coast is Overkill, guys that released with “Feel the Fire” a debut that was ground breaking. It was the art of merging metal and punk to a new sound that was revolutionary and fascinating up till today. The first release was just mind-blowing and fortunately this record was more than a one-hit wonder. “Taking Over” became a very well received second step, followed by many other discs.
Overkill is basically driven by the only two remaining founding member, - D.D. Verni on bass and ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth on vocal duties. It’s these two guys being more than influential for Overkill’s sound, something that goes for the old stuff as well as it’s valid for the new album “The Grinding Wheel”.
The ten songs that made it on this longplayer are 100% Overkill. The band didn’t change a lot and basically it picks up again where they stopped with the earlier released “White Devil Armory”.
“Mean Green Killing Machine” is the first step on this ten leg journey through metal. It’s a mighty drum beat that shakes you awake, accompanied by a first riff. Things built up to a raging Overkill smasher that has the right punch and energy level. What stands out though with the opener is the melodic and surprisingly traditional middle section. British 80's metal shimmers through brightly in this part of the tune.
“Goddamn Trouble” is next. It’s Overkill at its best, followed by the raging “Our Finest Hour”. “The Long Road” reminds partly of “the Years of Decay” times, at least I had to think of “Elimination” more than just a few times while listening to the numbe.
More towards the end it’s the grooving "Red White and Blue” that demands strong neck muscles and it's the epical title track, with its eight minutes and the dramatic ending, that rounds off a longplayer which shows that being a dinosaur doesn’t mean that you're old. Overkill managed to keep their old spirit, develop their trademarks and keep their passion. All this leads to the fresh and powerful “The Grinding Wheel” as being another blueprint for East Coast thrash metal and a true highlight in 2017.
- Mean Green Killing Machine
- Goddamn Trouble
- Our Finest Hour
- Shine On
- The Long Road
- Let’s All Go to Hades
- Come Heavy
- Red White and Blue
- The Wheel
- The Grinding Wheel
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release Date EU: February 10th, 2017