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OVERKILL - The Wings Of War

Release date February 22/19 (Nuclear Blast)

Overkill is a strange band for me. I totally respect the recorded repertoire that the Jersey boys have amassed over its 39-year existence, but I can't say that they're one of my fave thrash acts. Other than three strong platters (1987's Taking Over, 1997's W.F.O. and 2017's The Grinding Wheel), I gotta say that the other fifteen (!) records leave me strangely non-plussed. Sure, you can always find a couple of memorable tracks on each, but you'll never find me revisiting these records in full after the current touring cycle is done. Track-by-track consistency just ain't their thing, I guess.

With that in mind, I went into this one expecting the usual shift back into mediocrity after a strong release, as is their historical pattern. However, multiple listens later, I'm left shaking my head. The Mean, Green, Killing Machine sounds as invigorated and irritated here as they were on their last platter, the mighty fine The Grinding Wheel. Call me pleasantly surprised.

Jettison three of the eleven tracks ('Where Few Dare To Walk', 'Out On The Road-Kill' and CD-extra 'In Ashes') and you're left with 40 minutes of heavy duty thrash. Prime being the double-bassed 'Batshitcrazy' and 'A Mother's Prayer', along with the punk-injected 'Welcome To The Garden State', complete with a tongue-in-cheek reference to Springsteen's 'Born To Run'. Don't f*** with these New Jersey devils!

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