Overkill – The Grinding Wheel

With a career as long and as storied as New Jersey metal legends Overkill, there are bound to be some ups and downs. Money comes and goes along with popularity, record sales, tours, and band members. Overkill has persevered through all of this, and continues to put out quality old school thrash. However, there’s no way any band can put out eighteen albums, like Overkill has done, and produce a masterpiece every time. Here in lies the quandary with their latest, The Grinding Wheel, released on February 10, 2017 via Nuclear Blast.

Overkill lately has been on a roll of sorts. Their last three albums, Ironbound, The Electric Age, and White Devil Armory, were all extremely solid efforts. I came into The Grinding Wheel expecting more of the same. Opening track ‘Mean, Green, Killing Machine’ is everything I expected: mosh worthy riffs over driving double kick drums with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s patented gravel delivery. What I didn’t expect was how long the song would last. I found this to be a trend throughout the album. The next track, ‘Goddamn Trouble,’ is another ripper. At a quicker pace with gang vocals, it should be a great song live, if the crowd can mosh that long. Blitz is also still the king of ridiculous lyrics. Between the opening line about leaving a cat out in the rain, and the chorus, ‘Shine On’ could be one of his best/worst. Crazy lyrics and over-extended song structures withstanding, there is some excellent musicianship going on here. Guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek “The Skull” Tailer punch out riff after riff. D.D. Verni’s bass work is something to be appreciated, especially since you can actually hear him on this record. Ron Lipnicki smokes it behind the kit, as he drives the rest of the band through some of the faster songs they’ve put out in a while.

Overkill has had their highs and lows throughout their history. Unfortunately, The Grinding Wheel is a little bit of a low. If you hadn’t noticed the release date of the album, it’s been out for almost a month and I’m just now posting a review. My lack of motivation to get into this record definitely had something to do with it. Again, not that there aren’t some good things happening on The Grinding Wheel, but the overly extended song lengths make Overkill’s latest kind of a grind to get through.

Songs:

  1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
  2. Goddamn Trouble
  3. Our Finest Hour
  4. Shine On
  5. The Long Road
  6. Let’s All Go to Hades
  7. Come Heavy
  8. Red White And Blue
  9. The Wheel
  10. The Grinding Wheel

Playing Time: 60:12

Release Date: February 10, 2017

Label: Nuclear Blast

Website: wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound 

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