Overkill – The Wings of War
Overkill, not being one of the major players, but certainly one of the most productive and reliable bands in the thrash metal scene, returns once more, two years after their last release, with their 19th(!) album, “The Wings of War”. The title undoubtedly being a tongue in cheek nod to their long time ”companion” and mascot, the winged skull ”Chaly”, and tongue in cheek is not a bad description of Overkill as a band and maybe the key to their long lasting career though never making it to the really big scenes.
The theme of not taking them self deadly serious, although never cutting corners music wise, also goes again on ”The Wings of War” even though slightly more ”serious” numbers mix in with the more party flavoured songs, making the album a pretty delightful affair! Although it could have started of better, since the first song, “Last Man Standing”, begins with one of the most boring, ”tecno”-sounding, intros I have heard. If it wouldn’t have been for the fact that I was supposed to review the album I’d stop listening then and there and since the song, when it gets going, both presents killer riffing and some serious sing along choruses, it would have been a real pity!
Thankfully, the rest of the album goes on without any major flaws, albeit a sampling from ”The Sopranos” (my guess) in the beginning of the punky love song to the Overkill home base New Jersey, ”Welcome to the Garden State”, sounds a bit cheesy.
Otherwise the album, just like the first song, continues with both great riffing and great melodic choruses in an, actually surprisingly, high tempo and besides the nice hockey choruses in the refrains, the more high speed parts of the songs are surely the best!
Of course you can’t ignore the elephant in the room, and without further ado we dive right into the fact that it’s extremely hard to NOT think about Accept when you listen to ”The Wings of War”. Not only does Bobby ”Blitz” Ellsworth sound very much like a (maybe a bit more angry) Spittin’ Image of Udo Dirkschneider, the riffing and not the least the melodious choruses sound very much like a slightly more aggressive version of the German (former) Metal Gods!
That doesn’t necessary have to be a bad thing and I find “The Wings of War”, even if it’s being a bit lengthy in my opinion, to be a quiet nice slab of metal, and if you don’t crave your metal to be overly pretentious and doesn’t mind the “fuck you”-attitude and the, sometimes a bit excessive, local patriotism you should really check this record out!
Title: The Wings of War
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 22/2-19
Playing time: 51:03
Stand out track: Welcome to the Garden State