Feb 25

Overkill – The Grinding Wheel (2017)


After eighteen albums and way more lineup changes than we can count, Overkill shows us you don’t need off the wall left field experimentation to bring something fresh to the table. 

This record is a sixty-minute reminder of why you ever liked them in the first place. Full of catchy hooks, groove for days, well-written melodies, and all the speed you know you crave from them, this album stays true to it’s roots. Even three decades later they haven’t strayed away from their killer trademark sound, and that’s not a complaint. It’s a welcome change compared to other recent releases.

The opener, Mean Green Killing Machine, makes me feel like I should be riding a Harley into a pit of snakes. It’s full of attitude. From there we’re taken to Goddamn Trouble which in opinion has the catchiest chorus on this whole album. It’s honestly been stuck in my head for hours, I wish I was making this up but I’m not.

All these tracks are a little lengthier compared to the average of their past releases. But just like in the past, these songs are actually interesting and fun to listen to. They all flow together very well.

Shine On is a perfect example of what Bobby Blitz’s powerful pipes can do (except for a few moments where he shouts “Come on!” which just sound a little.. off.) The Long Road tears it up with some riffs that remind me of “Fabulous Disaster” every now and then. Speaking of riffs, have I mentioned that Derek and Dave’s guitar tone is impeccable? That’s no surprise, just thought I’d throw that out there. My ears are quite pleased. I like the drumming in particular on the track Let’s All Go to Hades. For most of this record, Ron Lipnicki seems to be keeping it simple but there are a few moments during this song where he adds in some pretty cool fill.

Red White and Blue is one of my personal favorites on here. Not only are the instruments fast and pounding but the frequent harmonious shouting really adds to that old school thrash vibe. Towards the middle, it breaks into a heavy and more spread out riff that’s guaranteed to take you right back to the eighties. The lyrics “Give us liberty or we can give you death” are pretty relevant to the times. The title track has a slower, somber, yet still powerful feel to it. The song marches you along a steady beat until the guitars kick in and shred. During some parts, this song also reminds me of something Iron Maiden would have written.

Despite so many guitarists coming in and out, this band is consistently churning out quality music that never gets old or wavers its signature style.

Yet another classic by one of the big guys. I’d say this stands it’s ground against their older and more “preferred” records and it’s one of the best things to come out of 2017 so far. So Overkill fans, non-Overkill fans, check it out because they’ve still got it.

Rating: ★★★★★


“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”  

Length: 60:12

Genre: Thrash metal

Nuclear Blast Records

Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – lead vocals
D. Verni – bass
Dave Linsk – lead guitar
Derek “The Skull” Tailer – rhythm guitar
Ron Lipnicki – drums



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