Review: Overkill – The Grinding Wheel

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Written by Matt Drummond

2017 is already looking like a year that will be drenched in new and great heavy metal. No matter what your metal preferences are, 2017 has plans for us all. Today, I’ll be addressing my longtime thrash metal brothers, and boy do I have a doozy to tell you about.

On February 10th, thrash metal icons Overkill will help welcome thrashers to 2017 with their 18th studio album, The Grinding Wheel. Overkill has been a staple in the thrash metal scene for almost 40 years now and they didn’t slow anything down with this pile driver of an album.

Coming out of New Jersey, Overkill formed in 1980 after the dismantling of punk group The Lubricants. Overkill isn’t a band confused on which direction they want the band to go. With over 16 million records sold worldwide, Overkill’s objective has simply been to wreck your necks, and they have succeeded in doing so for a very long time. With classic thrash metal songs like ‘Shred’ and ‘Armorist,’ Overkill has never disappointed fans. They’ve also stayed true to a traditional thrash sound.

With numerous lineup changes throughout the years, Overkill’s only original members are DD Verni (bass) and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Vocals). Blitz and DD have continually headed up albums saturated with blazing fast speed. If you listen to Overkill’s 1988 album, Under the Influence, and listen to 2017’s The Grinding Wheel, you’ll notice very little difference in the style of music Overkill lays out for listeners.

The Grinding Wheel goes up in smoke right away with the opening track, ‘Mean Green Killing Machine.’ A seven and a half minute combustion chamber, this opening track permeates with symbolic Overkill thrash.

The thrash metal hellions that are Overkill will burn up your speakers with this ten track shred fest. Some of the stand out tracks for me are ‘Let’s All go to Hades,’ ‘The Wheel’, and my personal favorite, ‘Red, White, and Blue.’

What can I say about Overkill, they are thrash metal royalty. They were involved in the rise of thrash, alongside bands like Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, and Slayer. If you’re already an Overkill fan, you’ll love The Grinding Wheel, and if you’re unfamiliar with Overkill, this album is as good as any to help get you acquainted.

Overkill will begin their North American tour on February 14th in Philadelphia. Being joined by Nile, this tour promises to be an abhorrent attack on all of your senses. In fact, all Overkill strives to do, is wreck your neck, so joining in would be a wise choice. Don’t be scared! 7.5/10

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