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Review of Overkill's album "The Electric Age"

Updated on June 22, 2012

Introduction

Recorded in 2011 and released March 2012, "The Electric Age" is metal band Overkill's sixteenth studio album and follow-up to the well-received "Ironbound." Since the early 1980's, Overkill has been on the Trash Metal scene and has gained quite the following. As acclaimed as "Ironbound" was, does this album continue to uphold the same quality as its predecessor? Let's take a look.

Review

Clearly having an advantage being first on the album, Come and Get It starts of with steady, beating drums and then adds a layer of guitar on top which build up, stop, and continue with the song's main riff. What jumps out at this time, and holds true throughout the album, is the incredible level of audible bass. How refreshing! Bobby Blitz's vocals are, as always, top notch. Overall, the song is a rather good start, but delves into an unnecessary moaning section. The chorus, as one might expect for the very first song of an Overkill album, is somewhat generic, but it is satisfactory.

Electric Rattlesnake, the first song released for promo, is one of the best. It's fast, heavy, and even has some damn good solos. The lyrics and vocals are well-balanced and the chorus is, at least, better than the first song. About three minutes into it the song shifts into an even greater riff before slowing down for Blitz's intense and almost groovy singing:

Snake bite, color my imagination
In a spiral dream, a hallucination
It comes to me with no reservation
I got the taste, do you mind?
Snake bite, color my imagination
Like a spiral dream of illumination
It fills me up like a medication
I got the taste, do you mind? Here i go again here I go again, here I go agaaaaaaain!

Review Continued

Perhaps just as fast of the previous song, Wish You Were Dead lacks particular identity. Not so much with the other songs on the album(which many do), but with songs on "Killbox 13" and the like. Black Daze has potential as the chorus works well with who I assume is D.D. providing backing vocals, but lackluster music plagues the whole song. You start to wonder, with the last two songs, if the album goes completely downhill from here, and if you should add Electric Rattlesnake to your playlist and delete the rest. Thankfully, there are some redemptive qualities in Save Yourself. While the chorus lacks distinction, the different verses are impressive and work very well. Quick and to the point, it is almost a shame that they didn't capitalize on these good qualities.

Drop the Hammer Down, contrasting with the previous song, has a powerful chorus but mediocre verses! Compared to "Ironbound," the record seems a bit more generic and similar to past Overkill efforts. The drums, in this song and in most, are dynamic and effective in speed and precision. 21st Century Man is another good example of sub-par songwriting and musicianship. Perhaps I was expecting too much after their last album, but from the basic "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, variation and maybe a solo, verse, and chorus" layout is overused and tired, at this point. The vocals on Old Wounds, New Scars are reminiscent of "ReliXIV," to their credit, but from the lyrics "Got a lot of mouth for a Jersey white boy!" to the pointless solo, the album no longer holds the potential it had in the beginning.

Bobby's response to the accusation of recycling material... repeatedly.

Source

Review Concluded

As Save Yourself somewhat accomplished, All Over But the Shouting provides another shining example of the album Overkill could have released. This song should have been reflective of the quality of the whole album, not just itself. The potent lyrics and provocative guitars really make the whole song:

Heard a thousand drummers on a solitary light
Heat of a thousand summers explode into the night
They hid behind the curtains, their faces were concealed
A voice above the ashes screamed
I want to make a deal! I want to make a deal! I want to make a deal!

Hell raising, drums blazing
All over but the shouting now
Hell raising, drums blazing
Careful what you wish for, you may get it now
Hell raising, drums blazing
All over but the shouting now

That is prime Overkill, ladies and gentlemen! The final song, Good Night, is the only one that that has isn't blisteringly fast and sprints to the finish... at least at first. After a brief soft section, the songs immediately loses anything unique in its nature and becomes another formulaic might-as-well-have-been-made-by-a-computer tune. Yawn!

Conclusion: 5/10 Audible bass: Good! Prevalent and skilled drumming: Good! Vocals: Great! Song structure: Poor. Lyrics: Mediocre. The whole album sounds a lot like other Overkill albums, which all sound like each other... try "Ironbound" if you're new to the band.

Songs worth the listen: Electric rattlesnake, Save Yourself, All Over But the Shouting.

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    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Tell me what you think about the band, album, or songs shown in the Hub. Also feel free to express disagreements or criticisms of my review!

    • TheHeavyReview profile image

      TheHeavyReview 5 years ago

      Well I haven't listened to this hard enough to have a real opinion, but I thought it sounded like a decent effort. Not amazing, but not really awful. I do agree that it sounds more generic when compared to "Ironbound", but I would probably give it higher than a 5/10. Great review... voted up, awesome, and interesting!

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 5 years ago from The Garden State

      I'm an Overkill fanboy so I'm diggin' the album. Fave tracks are "Electric Rattlesnake" and "Wish You Were Dead" at the moment. I have to say that my favorite part of the album may be Ron Lipnicki's drumming... he's been with the band for a while now and has done a couple of records with them but his work on ELECTRIC AGE is particularly intense and impressive!

      In short... not bad for a bunch of old farts. Haha.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Opps, forgot to add the second song. Fixed that.

      @TheHeavyReview

      Thanks for reading and commenting, as always. I was rather hesitant to rate it a 5 and was considering a 6 or 7, as I consider Ironbound a solid 8. But then I thought, really, what were the chances I would revisit this album in the future for less than 5 good songs? Maybe I will rate it higher after further listening, but who knows?

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      @FatFreddysCat

      Yes, I know how you feel about Overkill, haha! The drumming was, indeed, very well done. That and the presence of bass really do improve the experience.

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