With so many new school sounds drifting around these days it is nice to be able to settle down and listen to something a little old-school and you can’t get much more old-school than Overkill. When it comes to thrash metal these guys have been there since the beginning. Over thirty years together and 19 studio albums these guys know what they are doing and it shows from the very start of the album.
A busy industrial sound during the opening of ‘Last Man Standing’ does have you wondering whether Overkill have decided to do something a little different on their new album The Wings Of War, but as the familiar and distinct vocals of Bobby Blitz kick in you begin to realise that was a teaser and all things are right in the house of old school thrash.
As if to hammer that point home ‘Believe In The Fight’ sounds like it could have been recorded in the 1980s. It is fast, it is amazing and gives the opportunity to Dave Linsk and The Skull to showcase their amazing guitar work. They both also do brilliantly well on the intro of ‘Head Of A Pin’ before newcomer to the band, drummer Jason Bittner, gets to ply his trade bringing in some pounding drums that really drive the track.
Modern day terminology meets the familiar thrash traits on ‘Bat Shit Crazy’ while The Wings Of War goes to a whole new level with the very smooth ‘Distortion.’ It is a lot slower than many of the other tracks on the album but is drawn out even more by some beautiful moments of guitar playing that pushes into the realm of epic sounds that you want to just keep listening to. The brilliance of Overkill then continues on ‘A Mother’s Prayer’ which again sees the duo of Linsk and The Skull deliver some absolutely crazy guitar playing.
The clear best track on the album though is ‘Welcome To The Garden State’ which is a New Jersey pride song that deserves to become the state’s anthem, while some different vocals stylings for Blitz on ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ separates the song from the rest of the album. He then returns to his familiar style for ‘Out On The Road-Kill’ which quickly wins you over with a nice guitar solo as well. Overkill keep their most catchy song though for the closer. As Bittner again reaches his stride you find yourself not being able to help but to sing along with the chorus.
Once again Overkill have delivered the goods. The Wings Of War shows that like a fine wine this is a band that just gets better with age. Blitz again shows why he is one of the best thrash vocalist going around while the song-writing here show a band that is certainly more than capable of keeping thrash alive and relevant.