Apr 12

Overkill – The Electric Age (2012)


Overkill-The-Electric-Age album cover

Maintaining a high level of ass kicking over 30 years is no easy task, but Overkill is one of those metal mainstays that are about as reliable as it gets. Tasked with trying to outdo the modern thrash classic, Ironbound, the New Jersey Wrecking Crew returns for its 16th studio offering, The Electric Age. Upon the first spin of this album, one thing came to mind, “full speed ahead, captain!” From the moment you hit play, you’re strapped onto what can be aptly described as a high-speed missile of sound. Outside of the occasional brief interludes and the groovy, mid-tempo “Black Daze,” The Electric Age is nearly 60 minutes of overdriving, foot-to-the-floor, thrash.

Once again, the axe-slinging duo of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer expertly forge some brilliant guitar work. Listen to the solos on the “Come and Get It” and “Wish You Were Dead” for some head-spinning stuff. One great thing about Overkill’s sound, especially on the last couple records, is the huge presence of D. D. Verdi’s massive bass. The four-string is unfortunately often buried in the mix of many metal records. Thankfully, Verdi is prominently featured in the mix and his groove adds a great deal of substance to the general feel of the record. The musicianship on this album is, naturally, top notch. However, the real standout performance here is undoubtedly Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. No man in his 50s should be able to wail the way he still can. Although he has been in the band for longer than many of his fans have been alive, Ellsworth retains his trademark snarl and nastiness and honestly, he sounds better and more pissed off than ever. Listen to the intro of “Wish You Were Dead” and say that scream isn’t killer.

Saying an album “grows on you” often feels like a sort of cop out, so as to say, “the album wasn’t that great, but I got used to it.” However, it is really true that some albums take time to blossom and show you everything it has. The Electric Age isn’t a cryptic statement about post-modern intellectualism, but it did take a few spins to grow. Having to live up to its predecessor Ironbound was a tall task. Unfortunately, the memories of the greatness of that album clouded the initial opinion of this newest offering. Although it doesn’t quite hit the bar set by Ironbound, The Electric Age is a fantastic album on its own. The old saying states that, like a fine wine, some people get better with age. The Electric Age is proof positive that Overkill is maturing quite nicely.

1. Come And Get It *
2. Electric Rattlesnake
3. Wish You Were Dead *
4. Black Daze
5. Save Yourself
6. Drop The Hammer Down
7. 21st Century Man *
8. Old Wounds, New Scars *
9. All Over But The Shouting *
10. Good Night

* Editor’s Choice

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