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Overkill - The Wings of War Award winner

Overkill
The Wings of War
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 01 March 2019, 12:10 PM

The conception of the North American Big4 of Thrash Metal doesn’t make sense today. These words are justified due the high level of musical work from bands that didn’t sell more than 500 thousand copies of one album, but they don’t lose to the members of the select group above. And the truth is that the North American ruthless gang OVERKILL is living a great moment of their 30 years career, releasing amazing studio albums since “The Electric Age”. And “The Wings of War” is the fourth album of this sequence.

What is on the album, at least? It’s just their same old and good Thrash Metal way. It’s violent, blunt, gross and non-politically correct music, always evolving to fit in modern days, but keeping the same authenticity and identity that was forged on the 80’s. But as a refined wine, as time goes by, they get better. It’s fair to say that the quintet deserves the epithet of “MOTÖRHEAD of Thrash Metal”, because the tempos are sometimes faster and hooking, other are slow and oppressive, but always excellent, showing an amazing wall of guitar riffs and great solos (Dave and Derek are together on the band since 2002, what explain how these guys can play in such solid way) ; a solid, technical and heavy work on bass guitar and drums (D. D. and Jason form one of the best rhythmic sessions of Thrash Metal), and excellent harsh vocals with an wonderful set of tunes (Bobby can be said as one of the finest singers of Thrash Metal, no kidding). It’s a spit in the face, a rigid poke on both eyes, and a personal and amazing rush of raw and nasty energy. This album can blast your ears to bloody bits without efforts! And that’s amazing!

The band produced the album, having Chris “Zeuss” Harris on the mixing and mastering, and the creation could be in other way: perfect, balancing the weight, clearness to temper the natural aggressiveness of their music (and it’s not so easy, for it seems to have no limits in some moments). The choice for the instrumental tunes allowed the melodies to be understood without problem, and sharpened even more their edge of their songs.

It’s not easy to choose the best songs on “The Wings of War”, because they hit the bull’s-eye once more. But the brutal and aggressive welcoming card called “Last Man Standing” (a perfect brick-blow in the ear with excellent vocals and guitar riffs, and no one can stay stopped as it plays), the catchy melodies of the ruthless “Believe in the Fight” (the solid work on the rhythms in incredible, especially on the drums), the smashing energy of the slow tempos of “Head of a Pin” (a song in the traditional way of the band, again with excellent guitars), the cold-blood stomp called “Bat Shit Crazy” (that brings back their Hardcore essence back, with some introspective clean parts that have the old horror touches from their past), the horror feeling that fills the bitter ambience of “Distortion”, the great and hardcorized essence of “A Mother’s Prayer” (the bass guitar playing here is excellent, because this songs keeps alive the old Hardcore/Punk touch of their music), the moshpit inciting theme called “Welcome to the Garden State” (a great chorus that every fan will sing with them, especially due aggressive and simple guitars and vocals, and the lyrics shows the same nasty words that made their work famous and infamous), the crushing weight of the melodies of “Where Few Dare to Walk” (another excellent work of bass guitar and drums), a new hymn of their career called “Out on the Road-Kill” (maybe it’s a reference of their live shows, for they are killers on the loose on the road), and a very good mix between fast tempos and good melodies on “Hole in My Soul”. Yes, all the tracks were reviewed, because it’s not easy to leave one of them out, so hear it from the beginning to its end, and have a great neck ache!

If the Big4 concept wasn’t about selling, but about merits, it would be a Big5, because “The Wings of War” sediments the name of OVERKILL as one of the best Thrash Metal names. And they truly deserve it!

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Last Man Standing
2. Believe in the Fight
3. Head of a Pin
4. Bat Shit Crazy
5. Distortion
6. A Mother’s Prayer
7. Welcome to the Garden State
8. Where Few Dare to Walk
9. Out on the Road-Kill
10. Hole in My Soul
Lineup:
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth - Vocals
Dave Linsk - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Derek Tailer - Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals
D. D. Verni - Bass, Backing Vocals
Jason Bittner - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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