After being completely blown away by Ironbound, Overkill has continued to blow me away with their other albums, some of my other favorites being Killbox 13, Taking Over, Feel the Fire, and Under the Influence. When I heard that Overkill was releasing a new album, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for the release of a thrash metal album in my entire life. When the album came out and my pre-order arrived on my doorstep, I dropped what I was doing and listened to it on full-blast. I still remember that exactly 1 minute 16 seconds into the first track, absolute chaos was unleashed and blew me off my feet. The buildup couldn’t have been more perfect, 1 minute 5 seconds into the song speaks for itself, and I don’t even need words to describe the ultimate power of that part. The chaos never stopped and dragged me through the entire record from start to finish until I just couldn’t take it anymore; it was just too good to be true.
I could spend this entire review just going on and on about the first track, but I think you’re more eager to hear about the entire album as a whole. Well, the guitar distortion is much less metallic than Ironbound and previous albums. Instead, it has a much thicker sound with more body and less crunch (which isn’t a bad thing or a good thing). The guitars really haven’t improved in very many ways. But then again, the guitars aren’t the main focus in this album like they were in most of their previous albums.
Most of the focus has gone into groove and rhythm, especially in the realms of brutality and catchy riffs and headbanging parts. Obviously, the drummer is the one responsible for keeping this as the pinnacle for the duration of the record. The drums are considerably louder than the other instruments, but instead of sticking out like a big block, it sticks out farther in all the empty spaces and simply backs up everything else. If you ask me, I think that The Electric Age is the Overkill album with the best drumming, and I think most of you out there can agree with me.
Let’s talk about some of the awesome new grooves that Overkill has let into their music. This is relevant in some parts of the first track, but mainly in songs like Electric Rattlesnake. Electric Rattlesnake has some hard rock grooves weaved into the energetic thrash metal monster it creates, taking a lot of influence from Pantera and Motorhead. This sort of reminds me a little bit of The Gathering by Testament, but not quite as heavy and much, much faster. In other words, it is so fucking fun to listen to it makes me smile just writing about it (although I have it playing right now too).
The bassist also holds a huge spotlight in this album. You can hear him in every second of the album, and even holds a very important part during the second half of Electric Rattlesnake by driving the music along with some awesome rock riffs that have a classic 80s sound with modern influence. Everything he plays is overflowing with color and creativity, being a bassist myself, this is something I LOVE, I repeat LOVE to hear in any kind of music. It seems that as you keep listening to the record, every song is either just as good or better than the last; there aren’t any hiccups or bland spots anywhere!
Bobby is so good that he doesn’t need an introduction; he’s better than ever and acts as a rope pulling the rest of the music to otherwise unreachable heights. He paralyzes the listener with his scream at the beginning of Wish you were Dead and beautifies the music with his rough singing voice. Folks, this dude is flawless and deserves more credit than he’s gotten, especially for what he’s done in The Electric Age.
I’m not going to begin to pick favorites. Just as long as you listen to “Come and Get It” before anything else, you’re good to go. Electric Rattlesnake gives the headbangers and moshers a chance to rock out a bit while being bombarded with musical talent and creativity. Wish you were Dead pummels you with brutality and speed which is then followed by the PERFECT HEADBANGING TRACK, Black Daze to give the moshers some time to catch their breath with rock grooves and epic guitar solos. And it goes on and on. Perfect score, nothing less.