THE ELECTRIC AGE
If you are a fan of most of the big name metal bands and have been for 20+ years as so many of us have been, then you have really lived through ebbs and flows in their careers. For most of them, they are simply not as good as they once were. Sure, we still like what they do and support it, but let’s be honest about it. We do so out of respect for the past brilliance, and not because today’s stuff is of the same caliber. Pick a band – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament – some have put out strong releases, but can you say that their career in the last 15 years has been as strong as the first 10-15? Probably not. In my eyes, only one band of that ilk can say they are as strong, and I would argue they are stronger. That band is Overkill. While every album hasn’t been a home run (IMMORTALIS was kind of lacking), it’s pretty hard to argue that albums like FROM THE UNDERGROUND AND BELOW, IRONBOUND and NECROSHINE aren’t as strong or stronger than the classics like TAKING OVER or UNDER THE INFLUENCE.
Overkill have returned following the album that got them more praise than anything they have done in 20 years. IRONBOUND was named album of the year for 2010 in literally hundreds of metal publications, as well it should have been. It was a dominant release, that saw these New Jersey veterans more fierce than ever before. They are back with THE ELECTRIC AGE, and once again they are banging ahead on all cylinders. While THE ELECTRIC AGE is not as strong as IRONBOUND, it’s certainly quality metal the way you expect Overkill to deliver it. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth is once again spitting lyrics like a menacing school kid throws insults at a fat girl. His antagonistic delivery on songs like “Save Yourself” is pretty much standard Ellsworth in action.
As for the rest of the band, this lineup has been together long enough now to where they are an extremely tight unit. Guitarist Dave Linsk and rhythm player Derek “The Skull” Tailer rip through song after song in what can only be described as a show of brute force. The riffs that power anthemic numbers like “Drop The Hammer Down” are explosive, while the solo creates more of a haunting ambience to enhance the song instead of cutting through it sonically. Where these guys don’t demand all the attention, bassist D. D. Verni and drummer Ron Lipnicki make their presence felt. As always, the foundation for each song is rock solid – strong enough to stack skyscrapers on…thrash metal like “Wish You Were Dead” or “Electric Rattlesnake”.
PITRIFF RATING – 85/100 – This is a solid effort from Overkill. It’s not as good as IRONBOUND, primarily because the songs lack a lot of differences from track to track. That said though, if your in the mood for nearly an hour of bludgeoning, then look no further than THE ELECTRIC AGE. As they always do, Overkill has delivered the goods.