OVERKILL — The Electric Age

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OVERKILL - The Electric Age cover
4.22 | 42 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Thrash Metal


1. Come and Get It (6:17)
2. Electric Rattlesnake (6:19)
3. Wish You Were Dead (4:19)
4. Black Daze (3:55)
5. Save Yourself (3:43)
6. Drop The Hammer Down (6:25)
7. 21st Century Man (4:12)
8. Old Wounds, New Scars (4:11)
9. All Over But the Shouting (5:30)
10. Good Night (5:36)

Total time: 50:27


- D.D. Verni / Bass, Vocals
- Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth / Vocals
- Dave Linsk / Lead Guitar
- Derek ''The Skull'' Tailer / Rhythm Guitar
- Ron Lipnicki / Drums

About this release

Release date: March 27, 2012
Label: Entertainment One Music

Thanks to colt for the addition and Unitron, diamondblack for the updates


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Overkill are one of the hardest working, relentless, dependable bands in Thrash Metal. Much like Motorhead were, they were constantly on the road or pumping out album after album, flying the flag and keeping the faith over the years (and still are) whether the media were paying attention or not.

Their first four albums are pretty indispensable Thrash Metal must-haves that I am very find of. I keep a framed vinyl copy of The Years Of Decay on my wall as decoration. I can’t claim to be their biggest ever fan, for example I didn’t give their ‘90s output as much attention as I should have until recently, but I have been slowly rectifying that, and I still have a very high regard of the band even if I don’t know every single thing they ever released. Public opinions seem to be mixed on almost everything after their WFO album, but I remember clearly when almost the whole media, fan community and internet were united in love for their 2010 album Ironbound. That was a fantastic, reenergised, retro but modern, firecracker of an album that filtered what was good about classic Overkill and modernised it, and crucially had the songwriting and performance to back up the production and brilliant formula. To make a Testament comparison, it was very much their Formation Of Damnation.

What happened after Ironbound though? Was it an anomalous high-water mark like Megadeth’s Endgame but then they slowly slipped back down from the heights? Or was it a kick up the ass that was just the beginning of a new period of great album after great album?

Luckily, it was the latter. How do you possibly follow up a career rejuvenation like Ironbound? “Easy,” said Overkill a mere two years later, and promptly issued forth another fired-up, teeth shattering, razor sharp collection of classic yet modernised tracks that give the fans exactly what they want, but somehow without just recycling old material. Stylistically, it is a continuation but also a fine-tuning of what they did on Ironbound, with a few less over-long songs, and a slight rejigging of the ratio of Thrash to Classic Metal to Groove aspects, with a bit less groove this time around and a lot more thrash.

Another superb production job with great guitar tone (and more importantly for Overkill, bass tone), another impressive Ron Lipnicki drum performance, another example of Blitz’s singing/attitude at his very best (gotta love his sarcastic sounding angry snarl) all serve to compliment that aforementioned style and add to the quality of the record as a whole.

Highlights include the single “Electric Rattlesnake” as well as the brief but satisfying “Old Wounds, New Scars” and best of all is probably “Save Yourself” which is just a perfect example of the sound, spirit and style of Overkill.

If you liked Ironbound, this is a tighter, faster, even better version of what that album achieved. If you ever liked Overkill at all, there’s practically no chance you wouldn’t like The Electric Age. Sixteen original studio albums deep into their forty-year career, it was/is pretty exciting to think that the band were/still are able to make material this good.
Overkill's latest album, The Electric Age, is the first one of theirs I've heard but I'm clearly going to have to correct that. Offering up a sound which havers between thrash metal a la Anthrax and traditional heavy metal - with Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth's vocals, in particular, being highly reminiscent of trad metal greats like Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford - it might not win you over if you demand all extreme metal all the time, but for fans of the less glammy variants of mainstream 80s metal it's a delicious treat and proof positive that the Anthrax-trad metal sound can still sound fresh and vibrant even today.
Time Signature
Come and fucking get it...

Genre: thrash fucking metal

Over-fucking-kill are among the fucking hardest working metal bands, and one of those bands who have consistently churned out fucking top notch releases with only few weak albums in their fucking discography. Their latest fucking release "The Electric Fucking Age" captures them at their fucking finest. It is simply an instant thrash fucking metal classic.

Right from the fucking aggressive opener 'Come and Fucking Get It' to the equally aggressive 'Good Fucking Night', Over-fucking-kill severely fucking kicks the listeners fucking ass black and blue. Drawing on fucking thrash metal aggression and fucking speed metal tempos, and combining these with fucking grooves and heaviness as wells as fucking bursts of traditional fucking metal melody, Over-fucking-kill have simply made the fucking perfect thrash metal album in "The Fucking Electric Age". There are no fucking weak tracks on the album, and the groove-meets-speed based 'Electric Fucking Rattlesnake', the fucking angry 'Wish You Were Fucking Dead', the fucking heavy 'Black Daze', the fucking instant fucking speed metal classic '21th Century Man', the fucking moshing-friendly 'Old Wounds, Fucking New Scars' and the remaining tracks are all bound to fucking rock your fucking world to fucking pieces.

There is no weak element on the album. The crunching riffage is crushing and the bass has that metallic Overkill edge, while the drums are energetic and in your face. Bobby Blitz sounds angrier than ever and his unique voice is perfect on this album. The guitar solos are a fucking lesson all out classic fucking thrash metal fucking shredddage.

With "The Electric Fucking Age", Over-fucking-kill have committed a fucking thrash metal fucking masterpiece and and instant fucking classic. The fucking thrash fucking metal album of the fucking year for my fucking money, "The Electric Fucking Age" is so fucking awesome that it cannot be fucking described without fucking swearing.
"The Electric Age" is the 17th full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Overkill. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in March 2012. Considering the generally low album sales in these years, it´s a bit surprising that "The Electric Age" debuted at #77 on the Billboard 200, which marks the first time in the band´s career that one of their albums has made it into the top 100 of that chart. Overkill were always in the sup-top when it came to being popular in the thrash metal community (along with a lot of other thrash metal band´s who have stood in the shadow of the "big four"), but they are generally very well respected and widely known as one of the most hard working/relentlessly touring band´s on the scene. 17 albums into their career they seem determined to continue full speed ahead.

If you are familiar with Overkill´s "signature" sound, it´ll be no surprise that "The Electric Age" is thrash metal with some traditional heavy metal leanings. They´ve pretty much stuck to their guns from day one, and minor excursions into groove/alternative metal territory in the nineties have neither ruined their reputation as one of the most consistent acts in thrash metal nor affected the quality of their output too much. It´s been a bit up and down, but they´ve never released a bad album. The riffs on "The Electric Age" are strong and memorable, the drumming powerful, the metallic sounding bass sounds amazing and the caustic and raw vocal delivery by Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth is as powerful and attitude filled as ever. He spices up the raw type vocal delivery with some more melodic vocal lines from time to time, which only further enhances the listening experience and adds to the variation of the album.

Tracks like the opener "Come and Get It", "Electric Rattlesnake" and the powerful closer "Good Night" (which opens with a beautiful classical inspired acoustic guitar piece) are examples of the great energy and inspired songwriting on the album. Overkill don´t break out of the vers/chorus formula too much (although some tracks are more adventurous than others), but they do incorporate both well played guitar solo sections and other little details to keep things interesting.

"The Electric Age" is certain to end up in many thrash metal heads year end lists. It´s an album that might not add much new to the band´s discography in terms of development, but in terms of quality we´re talking one of their stronger releases. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is fully deserved.
Conor Fynes
'The Electric Age' - Overkill (9/10)

In metal and music at large, there's an unfortunate trend of artists 'wearing out their welcome', so to speak. A perfect example of this is Metallica, who- despite continuing to sell out stadiums- have become something of a laughingstock in recent years for their post-90s transgressions. On the other hand, bands such as Iron Maiden and Overkill have continued to receive praise and excitement for new albums. Lasting inspiration and band chemistry is certainly a factor when considering the long-term popularity of bands like these, but I think a large part of it has to do with sticking to a band's roots. While Metallica beckoned the chagrin of metalheads worldwide for dancing with mainstream rock and 'trash can metal', the long-term winners stick to their guns, maintaining their trademark sound and giving it a kick in the rear once in a while to keep it fresh. Approaching a new Overkill album, fans know what they're going to get. In the case of this legendary East Coast act, it is a lethal dose of ball busting, over-the-top thrash metal. "The Electric Age" is a proud testament to the band's longevity- thrashers, take heed!

Overkill have not held the broadsword of excellence high throughout their entire career, but 2010's "Ironbound" sought to bring back the glory. In that sense, "The Electric Age" is not much of a revelation or 'surprise comeback' record; it's a continuation of the heavy-hitting fury they're known for. Comparisons have been drawn between the sound of Overkill and that of Megadeth, and it rings true on "The Electric Age." However, while Megadeth went a bit conservative with energy and speed in their more recent material, Overkill maintain the same burstfire aggression of their youth. As a testament to their experience as musicians, Overkill continue to refine their production standards and technical precision.

The guitar duo of Linsk and Tailer is one of the best matches in thrash metal today. Although most thrash guitarists I've heard tend to rely on the twenty second solo opening to demonstrate their proficiency, these two bring the incredible musicianship to the rhythms. I get the impression listening to the busy, shifting riffs throughout "The Electric Age" that Linsk and Tailer were trying to outdo the earlier incarnations of Overkill. Although they aren't original members of the band, they sound right at home with Overkill. The riffs come a dozen a minute it seems, and the tight songcraft manages to tie it all together in such a way that they all compliment each other.

Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Overkill has always been Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth. Like a thrash metal Bruce Dickinson, his voice has stood the test of time, belting out his blistering combination of snarls and falsetto shrieks as well as he ever has. Megadeth is certainly a go-to comparison for any newcomers, but I'd also go ahead and cite a strong similarity to GWAR in parts. This pair of GWAR and Megadeth is mirrored greatly in the vocal delivery, best demonstrated in the album's heavy highlight "Old Wounds, New Scars." The vocals switch off between a Mustaine-esque snarl, a deep clean voice that could pass for Oderus Urungus, and- of course- Bobby's signature shriek. At times, Bobby's inflections will get a bit nasal for my tastes, but I cannot think of a better vocalist to match Overkill's aggressive style.

I'll admit; "The Electric Age" is my first full-album experience with Overkill. However, what limited listening I had done endowed me with a sense of respect and expectation for this album. In a word, it's excellent. Memorable songwriting, rich production, and an incendiary performance. It's nothing really new for Overkill, but it does not disappoint in the slightest.
If you’ve heard Overkill’s previous album, Ironbound, then many of the elements on their sixteenth full-length will probably seem familiar to you: a catchy, groove-tinged thrashfest with killer drumming, a clean production, and the unmistakable vocals of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. As such, comparisons to that album will be inevitable; after all, it did put the mighty ‘Kill back on the map for those who began to dismiss them. So, here are your comparisons: The Electric Age is beefier. It’s darker. It’s got even more aggression and even more attitude. Don’t think Overkill could get any better? Well, they just did.

Jumping right into things, The Electric Age proves that more than anything, Overkill are still extremely capable of writing great thrash songs. It does this by making three compelling arguments: “Come and Get It,” “Wish You Were Dead,” and “Drop the Hammer Down,” all of which are good enough to be placed among the band’s best, regardless of the era. The reason for this is that Overkill explore longer song structures on this album, giving Dave Linsk more room to work (which is a good thing). There’s plenty of space for face-melting riffs, and as those who are familiar with D.D. Verni know, he has an endless supply of them (leading to many more good things).

But the big reason why this progression in songwriting is key for The Electric Age is that it allows Overkill to turn up the speed on the rest of the songs without sounding too repetitive. They’ve never been a band to write many ballads, but The Electric Age goes balls-to-the-wall from the beginning to end, with the only real slow-down being in the intro of the final track, “Good Night”. It’s really the best thing an Overkill fan could have hoped for: the riffing of the old days combined with enough progression to keep the sound fresh, all without falling into a rut of any kind.

Honestly, I shouldn’t even have to discuss the lineup, because these guys have been doing the same killer job for a very, very long time. D.D. Verni and Ron Lipnicki remain one of the tightest rhythm sections in all of thrash, and Dave Linsk and Derek Tailor provide their usual killer guitar work. But Blitz? My god. He’s stepped up his game, BIG TIME. Sure, he still sounds like a pissed-off, rabid hyena (very comfortably, I might add), but regarding his vocal range, it seems like he’s found the fountain of youth; there are some screams on The Electric Age that would lead you to believe the man is in his mid 30s at the latest, and certainly not 52. It’s unbelievable that a guy who’s been doing this for so long can still sound this amazing, but tracks like “Electric Rattlesnake” and “Black Daze” prove that Blitz is still one, if not the best frontman in the business.

When I listened to Ironbound for the first time, I couldn’t help but reflect on Overkill’s legacy; if they somehow released another album as good, I thought, it might just force them to the top of the thrash elite, where they had deserved to be for so long. However, I absolutely did not think that album would end up being Ironbound’s immediate successor, and yet here we are with another modern thrash masterpiece. This time, it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back: Overkill is the greatest thrash metal band ever, with the Electric Age being the oh-so-delicious cherry on top of a legendary career. Buy this with pride, my friends.

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