Album: The WIngs of War
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 22.02.2019
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Vocals)
D.D. Verni (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Dave Linsk (Lead and Rhythm Guitars)
Derek Tailer (Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals)
Jason Bittner (Drums)
New Jersey is known for two things: The Sopranos & Overkll – one of the biggest names of East Coast thrash metal. And the guys have released their 19th album! Not many bands can add something like that to their list of accomplishments! So, this is our take on their latest release The Wings of War that will go out on February 22th via Nuclear Blast!
The album opener Last Man Standing starts with this sound-the-alarm intro and then proceeds with a merciless punky power chord riff. And after all these years, Bobby Blitz Ellsworth’s devilish voice hasn’t changed a bit! The whole tune is simplistic and catchy. It features some epic solos, just like in every Overkill song. As for the record, the new drummer Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall, ex-Stigmata, ex-Flotsam and Jetsam), understood his role in the band really well! His merciless drum pounding mixed with these tasty riffs create an adrenaline surge that will make your heart pumping in the pit! Believe in the Fight is a truly awesome track that will get stuck in your head after one listen! I mean, hands down to Dave Linsk, D.D. Verni and Derek „The Skul”Tailer for delivering these over-the-top riffs! Bobby Blitz’s vocals pairs great with the cheerful-sounding yet brutal thrashing riffs! The chorus is also a bull’s-eye! D.D. Verni ‘s rattling bass sound is blazing with fury throughout the whole song! The backing vocals of D.D. and the rest of the band create this tense, punching atmosphere. If this song doesn’t keep you moving, you’re either deaf or paraplegic. You’ll put this one on repeat I tell ya! Head of a Pin starts slowly with this bluesy Black Sabbath-esque riff before the drums kick in. The song is already released as a single so we don’t need to go in detail with it. However, it’s more simple than the previous track because of this awesome sounding chorus! And Blitz delivered some of the most evil screams on this album! Bat Shit Crazy is more of a straight-forward track as the title suggests which incorporates punchy gallops and power chords! It is also groovy as hell as you might get the feeling that you’re listening to the Overkill’s albums from the 90s. This tune also has a beautiful clean break that will soon be interrupted by a dual guitar melody.
Disolution starts like a melancholic ballad of some sorts with pretty emotional intro and evil-sounding guitars. But that’s the Overkill’s way of saying „hey, well turn this motherfucker into some doomy headchopping blues!“ Its evil ways really make it stand out from the rest of the tracks on this album Warning: epic solos included! A Mother’s Prayer is written in this cheerful punky/thrash style. It features these ear-piercing screams which separate Bobby Blitz from your ordinary heavy metal singers. And till this very day, his screeching vocals hasn’t changed! This tune really has a „let’s party!” vibe embedded in the guitar riffs. Welcome to the Garden State starts with a quote from The Sopranos (Season 5, episode 13; RIP JAMES GANDOLFINI!) : Silvio: Frankly, you have problem with authority! Tony Soprano: All due respect, you got no fucking idea what it’s like to be number one! Gosh, this make me binge the whole series again! Sopranos aside, Welcome to the Garden State is probably the punkiest song on this album! And the band is flying! The drums keep the grinding wheel turning! And the break in the song where you can hear DD’s bass and Bobby Blitz’ vocals is damn cool!Where Few Dare To Walk will get your attention instantly because of this cool eastern-sounding clean guitar and bass. Overkill are masters when it comes to dark atmosphere and this song is no exception! The way Bobby’s vocals and riffs blend together is simply astounding! It is as if the band’s intention was to create a two headed monster, lurking from the deeps…Pure EVIL! Out on the Road-Kill is another in-your –face thrash assault. The opening riff will give you the idea where the song is going. Crazy, in-for-the-kill song that will keep your head banging! And at last, the final track on the album Hole in My Soul starts slowly with this calm-before-the-storm guitar part and then it morphs into a head on tune with conspicuous thrashing tendencies. And it has a pretty catchy chorus.
It is a no-brainer to realize that Overkill’s The Wings of War is a candidate for the best metal album of 2019! I mean, come on, these guys are in their 50s and they sound as if they are in their early 20s! The Wings of War is by far the best Overkill album in almost 10 years or to be more precise, since the release of Ironbound! There is really something going on with this album that outdid The Grinding Wheel. The whole The Wings of War album has this duality consisting of cheerful, punky vibes and eeeeviiiiiilll, dark musical statements and when you put those elements together, you get one of the best thrash metal albums I’ve heard in a while. When it comes to the production, everything is in place, the guitars, the bass, the vocals. Maybe the bass could have been louder…that is the only objection to this state-of-the-art masterpiece! Now that Overkill has released such a masterful record, younger thrash bands have no excuse. No excuse at all!
If you like what we are doing, like our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram & Twitter and subscribe to our Youtube channel to help us grow! Big shout out to our patron Season of Mist. You can also support us by donations via Paypal and by becoming our patron! Don’t forget to like & share this article!