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Review: Overkill - Feel the Fire
Feel the Fire

Label: Megaforce Records
Year released: 1985
Duration: 37:26
Tracks: 9
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 23, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Feel the Fire

Rated 4.82/5 (96.47%) (17 Votes)

One of the early thrash bands from the '80s and a member of the loosely defined "Next Four" of thrash along with Exodus, Testament and Death Angel, Overkill released their first full-length, Feel the Fire, in 1985. I was not a huge Overkill fan back in the day but this one (and the follow-up, Taking Over) have really grown on me over the years. The band has a distinctive sound, a lot of which is due to singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and his unique voice, but the music is also easy to pick out of a lineup. Overkill was unashamedly into punk and even though they tightened up their playing, keeping in line with the rest of the thrash movement, the energy and immediacy of punk shine through, especially on albums like Feel the Fire.

Songs like the amazing title track, "Hammerhead" and "Overkill" are straight up thrash with precision riffs, sharp time changes and choruses that beg to be shouted along with. But the album also features cuts like "Rotten to the Core" which has many punk aesthetics, from the lyrics to the backing vocals. And these days, finding a version of the album without the cover of Dead Boys "Sonic Reducer" is next to impossible, not that you'd really want to. Overkill does a nice job staying true to the original while "thashing it up" a bit. There are no weak tracks on Feel the Fire and several standouts so it, along with Taking Over, is a must-have for serious thrash fans.

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