Bobby Blitz and his New Jersey thrash institution Overkill are up to album number 19 of their illustrious career. With The Wings of War the band is showing no signs of slowing down with age. They have been on a particularly strong run since 2010’s Ironbound when a new wave of thrash metal was taking shape and other, newer bands were trying to usurp the throne long since occupied by the aforementioned Wrecking Crew.
As it is one of the key, defining traits of Overkill’s music, Blitz’s voice is front and center as one of the more unique voices in all of metal, let alone thrash. He shouts out lyrics at a fast, yet discernible pace and has a particularly throaty approach to some of the more finely polished vocalists like Joey Belladonna of Anthrax.
With an opening salvo like “Last Man Standing” you have Overkill in a nutshell; Blitz shouting angrily over plenty of fast and furious riffs and an overall headbanging and fist pumping anthem that fits well within their live repertoire. “Believe in the Fight” lyrically fits the us against the world mentality that plenty of Overkill songs have retread over the years, which plod along with D. D. Verni’s ever-present bass to help bridge the quicker thrash sections with the more shouted and slower choruses. The rhythm section helps to close out the track with a blistering solo that rounds back to the main riff section and tempo.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the very tongue in cheek and punk flavored song “Welcome To The Garden State,” my home state and theirs, complete with a Tony Soprano sound bite to lead it off. Referencing the lack of patience of residents and the lovely medical waste on the state’s beaches, it really does feel like home.
With their strongest album since Ironbound, The Wings of War shows off that Overkill have plenty left in the tank. As long as Bobby Blitz is pissed off (much like New Jersey), there will always be Overkill.
(released February 22, 2019 on Nuclear Blast)
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Listen To Overkill – “Last Man Standing”