One phrase spun around constantly in my head back in 1985. “Riding the Wind on a stormy night, Rides a mother’s son to take your life, They say he died ten years ago..” and so on and so on… The debut album of Overkill was together with the debut of Metal Church my eighties standard of good metal! Now, almost 35 years later, Overkill releases their 19th album and still they deliver. Like a lot of other metal bands, you can guess what to expect, because Overkill never diverges a lot from their style.
If I compare The Wings Of War with their 2017 album The Grinding Wheel, I have to conclude that there are more faster parts/songs. Also their punk roots are present, on their debut there was ‘Second Son’ and now you can enjoy this in the ultra fast song ‘Welcome to the Garden State’, starting with a spoken word intro from the mafia series The Sopranos. Time and age doesn’t seem to have a lot of impact on the raspy vocals of the great entertainer and singer ‘Blitz’. He still sounds like an angry youngster and his voice is unique like always.
The video of opener ‘Last Man Standing’ is already out for over 2 months and the music is fast, aggressive and sounds tight as an ant’s ass. Next is the mid-tempo groove song ‘Believe in The Fight’, perhaps not one that will be remembered in a few years as one of their highlights, but still good. The other video they already released is of ‘Head Of A Pin’. A very varied song with galopping riffs and a refrain that sticks in your head. Riff monster ‘Bat Shit Crazy’ continues in rather fast pace and is followed by ‘Distortion’, which opens softly and is in my opinion the weakest track on the new album, although D.D. Verni rules with his bass lines.
Up next are two fast songs with a kind of punk attitude. The kind of threatening openening guitar part of ‘Where Few Dare To Walk’ and the half spoken vocals of Blitz is typical old school Overkill. It is built up around the bass parts of D.D. and it is slow and groovy. With ‘Out On the Road-Kill’ the tempo goes a bit up again and closer ‘Hole In My Soul’ ends in the typical thrash/punky fast sounding riffs with which the band Overkill distinguishes itself from other thrash bands.
All in all, The Wings Of War is an album that fits like a glove in their repertoire and sounds a little bit fresher and faster than their 2017 album. I don’t think it is one of their top 5 albums, but it sure is steady top 10 material. Again, a job well done and an album every thrash fan should own.
01. Last Man Standing
02. Believe In The Fight
03. Head Of A Pin
04. Bat Shit Crazy
06. A Mother's Prayer
07. Welcome To The Garden State
08. Where Few Dare To Walk
09. Out On The Road-Kill
10. Hole In My Soul
Playing Time: 51:03
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - Vocals
D.D. Verni - Bass
Dave Linsk - Lead Guitar
Derek Tailer - Rhythm Guitar
Jason Bittner - Drums