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Review: Overkill - The Electric Age
The Electric Age

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 50:27
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: April 15, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.59/5 (91.76%) (51 Votes)

You just can't beat a bit of Overkill. The wrecking crew are back, for the proverbial attack with their mighty sixteenth (!) full-length release The Electric Age. Thrash fans are going to want to buy this without further persuasion. Seriously, order this bad lad right now. As for the more curious, I bid you read on.

First things first, the production is absolutely fucking perfect here. If you were to ask me what modern thrash should sound like, I'd present this album to you with a massive, shit-eating grin. The kit sounds great, punchy, with the only slight niggle being that the cymbals could have a slight more bite. The guitar tone is great, well rounded and the lead guitar tone is straight out of Marty Friedman circa 1990. Now the absolute star of the production is the bass. A lot of bands neglect bass, but Overkill proudly put the bass into the foreground, and with a player like D.D. Verni they would be stupid not to. Every single guitar and bass stab slaps you in the face with the force of an electrically-charged bionic arm.

With such a good sound, you obviously need good performances, and surprise surprise; this is exactly what we find on The Electric Age. Bobby Blitz sounds bloody half his age, utilizing plenty of power and some great Halford-esque screams. Guitarists Derek Tailer and Dave Linsk are also on the money here, spewing forth brilliant speed metal riffs, face-splattering thrash breaks, and holy shit the lead guitar work is out of this world. As for the rhythm section, do I really need to say much? D.D. and Ron provide a frighteningly tight backbone, with solid grooves, and schooled restraint.

As for the songs, well every single track is absolutely class. Each of which boast either great riffs, catchy choruses, wild solos, or furious thrash breaks, a lot of which feature all of these things. Some of the notable standouts for me would be "Electric Rattlesnake" with its classic, grooving middle section, "Old Wounds, New Scars" which boasts a hilarious shout-along moment in the "Got a lot of mouth for a Jersey white boy" line, and finally "21st Century Man" which features a fair bit of Megadeth styling, and also houses the album's finest guitar solo, pure Marty worship.

Whilst new releases from Kreator and Testament are ready to drop over the next few months, I'm unsure as to how well they're going to stand up to The Electric Age. Overkill have been on fire for the majority of their career, people talk of "big fours" but really I don't think any thrash band has been as consistently on the money as Overkill. This is another classic release from one of the genre's absolute masters, and any fan of thrash metal would be a moron to pass this up. If you've yet to hear this band then... Wait a second, if you've yet to hear this band you're probably on the wrong site, jog on, poser. For the rest of us, let's turn this up to 11!

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