Overkill – The Electric Age


The Electric Age
Nuclear Blast
Within many walks of life, age is seen as a potential barrier to any further progress or indeed success. Within music and indeed heavy metal, it couldn’t be any more the opposite. Showing absolutely no signs of letting up even as they get well into their fifties, New Jersey thrashers Overkill have unleashed sixteenth album ‘The Electric Age‘ to the masses, off the back of the incredibly well-received and thoroughly awesome ‘Ironbound‘, which no question was a huge shot in the arm for the band which arrived just as the thrash revival began to run out of steam. 
The Electric Age‘ continues off the excellent work on ‘Ironbound‘, with opening pair ‘Come and Get It’ and ‘Electric Rattlesnake’ full of sneering attitude, trademark Overkill shred and cracking vocals, led respectively by bassist D.D. Verni and vocalist Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth. The latter of those songs is one I’m still listening to over and over again for weeks; it’s so infectious as it bounds into the chorus, Blitz singing: ‘More,  than you can take/make no mistake/I’m an electric rattlesnake‘. Elsewhere, the New Jersey guys demonstrate impressive variation to straight ahead thrashing, with the blues-thrash of ‘Black Daze’ and the melodicism of ‘Drop the Hammer Down’, a thrash/heavy metal anthem like the days of old, yet at no point does the proverbial electricity in their sound let up.
Overkill – Electric Rattlesnake (official video)

The Electric Age‘ is certainly a must-have album for any thrash fan and any self-respecting metal fan in particular, although I’m personally of the disposition that this doesn’t quite match the lofty standard set by ‘Ironbound‘, which was arguably up there with the glories of ‘Feel the Fire‘ and ‘Horrorscope‘. Where its predecessor was lifted by the energisation of the recent thrash metal revival, ‘The Electric Age’ is more a continuation of their recent fine fettle, with one or two tracks that don’t quite do it for me in quite the same way.

Crucially though, it still kicks a hell of a lot of ass, and you won’t find a thrash metal band who wears that badge on their sleeve more than Overkill. They’re not pandering to trends, or retro worshipping, instead just ploughing ever forward with the searing heads down, play hard, thrash harder mentality that has embodied them their whole career. Bands half their age or younger would struggle to keep up with Overkill on this form, and it feels as though there’s nothing that could possibly stop them at the moment. Can the young whippersnappers keep up with Overkill? Can you, the listener, keep up? This is Overkill’s invitation to bang your head – better late than never. As the opening track says, ‘come and get it!
Peter Clegg

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