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Overkill: The Grinding Wheel

The Grinding Wheel is the latest album by thrash metal group, Overkill. It follows two albums that showed this veteran group were still a powerful force. Actually, you could mount a pretty strong argument that of all the long stayers of thrash metal, Overkill have clearly been one of the most consistent. There have also been some very impressive new-comers including those taking thrash in new directions in recent years, but it's not quite the same as when one of the "old school" thrash masters like Kreator, Testament, Exodus and Overkill release a new album.

Overkill have been doing this for some thirty seven years and with eighteen albums that is quite an accomplishment. As a result Overkill are not ones' to sit back and make their fans wait for long periods, and they continue to give them what they want to hear. So how does Grinding Wheel compare to their recent output ? Well Ironbound still has the lead followed by White Devil Armoury and The Grinding Wheel although I'm not about to lock that choice in as this new album is one that keeps getting better with each listen.

One thing that stands out when spending time with The Grinding Wheel is the diversity, of course the prompt thrash metal is there on tracks like "Red White and Blue" and "The Wheel" but there is that and more, including classic metal influences bringing some enticing surprises, and vocally it's not all the usual snarls, the production is tops once again, and the band turns in another strong round of performances. Overkill know how to get the ball rolling with a great opener and the rather lengthy "Mean Green Killing Machine" does the trick, it's not the sole extended tracks as three others clock in at over six minutes and the slow and mighty for the most part title track is longer still. They put the extra time to good use such as the Iron Maiden like build up before it switches to thrash metal mode on the "The Long Road", and speaking of others there's a touch of Black Sabbath on the ultra catchy "Come Heavy" where the bass, guitar and drums groove it up so well - as they do again on the cover of Thin Lizzy's "Emerald".

On the thrash metal front, 2017 is sure off to a damn fine start with plenty to smile about from both Kreator and now Overkill, and fingers crossed we will see that next Exodus album before the year ends. So what are you waiting for? Crank up your player of choice and get The Grinding Wheel moving.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. Mean Green Killing Machine
2. Goddamn Trouble
3. Our Finest Hour
4. Shine On
5. The Long Road
6. Let's All Go to Hades
7. Come Heavy
8. Red White and Blue
9. The Wheel
10. The Grinding Wheel
11. Emerald (Cover Song)

Added: March 18th 2017
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1414
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Overkill: The Grinding Wheel
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-03-18 06:55:34
My Score:

Ahh of the legends of thrash metal, and a band you can always count on to crank out a solid album. After all, these East Coast headbangers have been doing this now for over 35 years, and show no signs of slowing down with their latest release The Grinding Wheel. Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth is still leading the charge, snarling & spewing with his unique and unmistakable vocal delivery throughout the 11 tracks on display here, the band firing on all cylinders and just as lethal as they were back in the '80s. One of the things you'll notice here on The Grinding Wheel are the abundance of lengthier songs, as most fall into the 5-8 minute range, allowing Overkill to dig into some crunchy grooves and run with it for a while. "Mean, Green, Killing Machine" opens things up with a variety of riffs, massive grooves, and plenty of tempo changes, while the mosh ready thrasher "Goddamn Trouble" provides all the manic arrangements any metal fan will need to get the fist pumping primed and ready to go. Ron Lipnicki's kick drums drive the furious "Our Finest Hour", and meatier, almost doom laden rockers "Come Heavy" and "Let's All Go to Hades" provide another side to the band that's just as lethal. Let's not forget the majestic yet pulverizing title track, just a hair under 8-minutes long and containing a wealth of fabulous crunch-o-rama courtesy of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailier as well as wailing vocals from Blitz. Great stuff.

When it's all said and done at the end of 2017, there's no doubt that The Grinding Wheel will be one of the best thrash metal releases of the year. This is what Overkill do, release kick ass albums time and time again. And we can only thank them for that.

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