In 2014 we were crushed under their “White Devil Armory”. Three years after that, the New York thrash legends return with their 18th studio album “The Grinding Wheel“. Bands like OVERKILL should have a “seal of quality” sticker on every new record of theirs, being superbly consistent for the past decade. What does their new studio album have to offer in comparison to their recent past? Let’s press “play” and find out!
First track, the “Mean, Green, Killing Machine” a 7-and-a-half-minute riff-o-rama with Overkill showing what they’re made of: from the mid-tempo verse and killer chorus, to the “who-ah-o-oh” melody right after the second chorus, every riff masterfully follows the other, along with some top notch lead work. And that’s something that only a band as experienced as they are can do so easily. Up next, it’s time for some “Goddamn Trouble” speeding up, giving us the mosh-and-go street feel we always loved in Overkill, and such a fitting video-clip as well. “Our Finest Hour”, the albums’ first single, keeps up the pace, being a bit more anthemic, with arguably the best chorus on the album. Fans will love this one on live shows!
“Shine On” kicks in with its headbanging groove we’ve always expected, which brings a bit of PANTERA to mind, with a rocking feel all over the place, as well as a beautiful acoustic part in the middle before the ending solo and chorus. Speaking of anthemic songs earlier on, we have the “The Long Road” with its anthemic intro, before going into a trademark Overkill riff-o-rama with a beautiful bass lick in the middle by the one and only DD Verni, paying homage to the bands going down the long road of metal, stating “we’ve walked the long road, a thousand times before”. I don’t think there was ever a doubt about that, Bobby!
“This is top notch OVERKILL right there.”
The second half of the album begins with “Let’s All Go To Hades” and its epic intro riff, going into a classic mid-tempo mosh-and-go thrasher, with a simple and effective punk feel, with Bobby showing that he can still hit those high notes in his late 50s. “Come Heavy” certainly comes heavy as heavy can go, blending the modern metal sound with what Overkill has always known along with a darker feeling all over. “Red, White And Blue” brings back the speed with the fastest and most aggressive song on the album, with a 100% trademark East Coast thrash breakdown.
The groovy intro riff of “The Wheel” is only a foreword of the upcoming riff-fest, including a great break in the middle with an almost classic metal riff. The album ends with the longest track on the album, the title track. “The Grinding Wheel” kicks in with a beautiful middle-eastern type of riff, building up along with the drums in a mid-tempo headbanger, bringing songs like “The Years Of Decay” or “Horrorscope” to mind: clocking at just under 8 minutes, with a heavy-as-fuck feeling all around, and lots of riff changes, especially that bass break towards the end, leading into an epic finale where even violins are being used.
This is top notch OVERKILL right there. Let the grinding wheel of East Coast thrash crush your necks!