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Classic Review: Overkill - The Years of Decay
The Years of Decay

Label: Atlantic Records
Year released: 1989
Duration: 56:22
Tracks: 9
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: February 5, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4.39/5 (87.74%) (62 Votes)

The fourth release by Overkill marks an improvement over their previous albums. The reasoning behind this is the advanced songwriting compared to the rest of their discography. As always this band puts a lot of energy into their songs and this album is a total headbanging experience from beginning to end. There are just no fillers to be found in The Years of Decay, and with its terrific songs, you'll be satisfied. There is also a wide range of variety on the album from total thrashers like "Elimination" and the epic closer "E.vil N.ever D.ies" to slow songs like the title track and "Playing with Spiders/Skullrusher", a style rarely heard before from a Thrash band.

The band is in top form starting with Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - his shrieking voice is a trademark and nobody sounds like him. D.D. Verni's bass is audible and very much present in every song. Sid Falck's drums are also insane, not so much for his speed or technicality but because he knows how to carry a song and not overpower it. But special mention has to go to Bobby Gustafson; he is in my mind the best guitarist Overkill ever had. His playing on The Years of Decay is marvelous to say the least. He constantly pulls ripping riffs and solos that have nothing to envy to other musicians. For a sample of this, just listen to "Playing with Spiders/Skullrusher" - the guy is amazing. Unfortunately this was his last performance with the band, but at least he left with a bang!

The Years of Decay is a classic in every sense, as it has withstood the test of time. For newbies who don't know who Overkill is (can't imagine who), this is the best place to start. Also the replay factor of the record is high, there is always something new to discover with each listen. There are no weak spots in this album; arguably their best, it is a must for every metal fan, no exceptions.

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