2017 sounds like forever ago, but its hard to think that Overkills ‘The Grinding Wheel’ is really a couple of years old. Trying to put that album into words was difficult, doing it justice seemed impossible as they provided one of the great albums of the year. Well, 2019 is now here and they’ve returned with The Wings of War, and would you believe, they’ve not only done it again, but they’ve far surpassed their previous outing.
‘Last Man Standing’ jabs you straight in the face harder than Mike Tyson with a ferocious, punchy thrasher and the pace is matched throughout the album, there’s no half hearted touches at all, former Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner makes his presence clearly known as he stamps his mark on the album, ‘Bat Shit Crazy’ being one of the true highlights of his playing, and that monster leads perfectly onto an almost ominous sounding ‘Distortion’, that touches on the lighter side of their writing abilities.
‘Welcome to the Garden State’ is probably one of the greatest wildcards thrown at you on the album, its punk-esque attitude could almost sound like a cover with its catchy essence. Bobby Blitz is his same old, unique sounded self with some fantastic lyrical content, album closer ‘Hole in my Soul’ is probably the go to track to showcase that. D.D. Verni sounds must more relevant in the mix and from start to end of The Wings of War is the driving force of the album. The Grinding Wheel was full of riff magic, and while this album sounds much more of a straight forward thrash album compared to it, it also might just have too many good riffs in its bag of tricks that some just don’t get the credit they deserve, ‘Head of a Pin’ probably being a prime example, which potentially makes it one of the very few weakest links of the album.
As a band pushing out 19 albums now with a 30+ year career, its amazing to see such speed, ingenuity and monster tracks again and again. Overkill are at a point where they are living up to their name 100%, its going to take something extremely special from any thrash band this year to top this, already a strong contender for album of the year in the thrash metal sub genre.