The Electric Age
Nuclear Blast Records - 2012
The new album from Overkill features ten tracks written by the duo of vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist DD Verni. For my money, the best album that the band ever did was The Years of Decay. It ranks up there for me as one of the best thrash albums ever. So with every album judged against that standard, this album has a lot of expectations from me to live up to.
The album opens with a staggering drum salvo from Ron Lipnicki then bursts into a full throttle shredder with the song "Come and Get It". For the most part that description aptly describes the entire album. The song sounds like the musical soundtrack for an advancing bloodthirsty horde.
"Electric Rattlesnake" was the first song released from the album (see video clip below). The fast paced track features vocalist Ellsworth spitting out the vocals so fast that you almost can't keep up with what he's saying. The song slows down during the final quarter of the song but then kicks the shred factor back up to close out the song.
The song "Wish You Were Dead" reminded me of the classic Overkill track "I Hate" in regards to the song lyrics. That's a good comparison for those that might be wondering what I mean by that. Meanwhile, the tempo of "Black Daze" can only be described as a musical romp. I liked the phrasing of the vocals in the chorus.
"Save Yourself" was a sizzling aggressive number. The cut "Drop The Hammer Down" was slightly slower for most of the song but the trade off for less speed was a heavier sound that was both musically and lyrically dense.
"Blitz" really shines vocally on the blitzkrieg attacking track "All Over But The Shouting". "Good Night" opens with a slow acoustic guitar intro then goes off on a vicious audio assault, which was just the last in a series of amazing fretwork displays from guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer.
I had two nitpicks with the album. The first was a minor one. I'm one that likes to, on first listen, read the song lyrics in the CD booklet as each songs unfurls. On a few of the tracks, the lyrics in the booklet didn't match up with what was being sung. The slightly bigger issue I had was the song "21st Century Man". While I liked the pacing of the song the lyrics didn't resonate with me at all.
While there was a period of a few albums where I didn't like the band's output, the last couple of releases have been excellent. Overkill is a vastly underrated band that carries true metal pride to this day. For me, they'd be in my own version of The Big Four instead of one of the recognized members of that particular club who beyond a few songs I never found all that interesting.
The Electric Age becomes the third straight outstanding release from the band. It shreds terrifically and while it doesn't top The Years of Decay, it does acquit itself quite nicely. "Come And Get It" Indeed!
GRADE: A MINUS!