Album Reviews

Overkill – The Wings of War Review

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: February 22nd, 2019


  1. Last Man Standing
  2. Believe in the Fight
  3. Head of a pin
  4. Bat Shot Crazy
  5. Distortion
  6. A Mother’s Prayer
  7. Welcome to the Garden State
  8. Where Few Dare to Walk
  9. Out on the Road-Kill
  10. Hole in My Soul

Overkill belongs to the very steady factors in thrash metal. Numerous albums from the New Jersey-based quintet belong to the timeless classics in metal. Longplayers such as ‘Feel the Fire’, ‘Horrorscope’ and the latest release, ‘The Grinding Wheel’, are carriers of excellent thrash metal

On February 22nd, Overkill adds a new record to their discography. ‘The Wings of War’ features ten new songs from the East Coast quintet, including all the trademarks you expect from the five-piece powerhouse.

Overkill’s core is without any doubt the two veterans Blitz Ellsworth and D.D. Verni. The two founding members add typical characteristics of sound to each Overkill album. It is Ellsworth’s charismatic voice and the strong bassline, provided by Verni, making a difference with so many other bands and songs. But Overkill success formula is wider than only the two iconic musicians. The band wrote some years ago a song entitled ‘In Union We Stand’ and it’s more than just a song. It’s a mindset that seems to be anchored in the bands DNA. Overkill isn’t about individuals. It’s about teamwork and cooperation, which leads to these great metal songs.

‘The Wings of War’ carries ten new songs of which the first one is entitled ‘Last Man Standing’. The opener has been revealed already earlier as an appetizer for the new album and if you listened to it you know the ‘why’. The song has a repetitive and sinister start before a typical Overkill riff kicks in. ‘Last Man Standing’ is a fast thrasher that doesn’t take any prisoners, an excellent beginning.

After some fast and heavy track in a row, it’s ‘Distortion’ that breaks the pattern with a half-acoustic opening. The song evolves to a mid-pace anthem and spreads a dark vibe throughout.

That Overkill’s sound is partly influenced by punk isn’t a secret and it’s ‘Welcome to the Garden State’ that reflects this inspiration extremely well. The track is a sonic wrecking ball you shouldn’t miss and it is ‘Where Few Dare to Walk’ picks up the spirit of the ‘Overkill’-trilogy, followed by the smashing ‘Out on the Road-Kill’.

Also, good things come to an end. ‘Hole in My Soul’ is already the closer of Overkill’s 19th studio album. Tempo and speed are the key ingredients of this brilliant power-pack that, with its melodic vocal lines, could become a fixed number on future setlists.

To sum up: ‘The Wings of War’ is album number 19 of a band that defined the standards of thrash metal, a full-length record that showcases a band that doesn’t get tired after all these years. The opposite seems to be the case. Overkill is still hungry, proving that age doesn’t matter if your heart is with what you’re doing. ‘The Wings of War’, an album you shouldn’t miss.

Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings:  8/10

Tell Us How You Feel