Overkill

Overkill

Wrecking Everything – Live

Spitfire

What do you think of when you hear Asbury Park, NJ? Most people will think of Bruce Springsteen, maybe Bon Jovi, but if you are a true aficionado of heavy metal, a smile will cross your face as Overkill comes to mind. Overkill has been bringing full force speed metal to the masses for over ten years, and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Wrecking Everything – Live is a great mix of tracks from throughout their career, performed live at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.

While no tracks from my personal favorite Overkill album, Horrorscope, are included in this set, they do include thirteen tracks from nine different albums. They open with the blistering title track from the album Necroshine, and close with their eponymous “Overkill” from their first major label album, Feel The Fire. In between, we get a history of the band that includes blistering dual guitar riffs from Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, thundering drums (Tim Mallare) and bass lines (DD Verni), and ear-splitting vocals from Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. Everyone shows great range, from the growling aggression of “Battle” to the soft melody and harmonies of “The Years of Decay.” Overkill has stayed true to their roots, never becoming too artsy or trendy, while still growing in their talent as musicians and songwriters.

My advice has always been – DO NOT play Overkill while driving. The urge to bang your head in time with the music will overpower you and you will become a hazard to yourself and other drivers. If nothing else, you will exceed the speed limit. That said, this album cries out to be played loud on a good stereo with serious speakers. I started to play in it my office while I was writing the review, and I had to halt everything so I could take it into the living room and play it through the DVD player/home theater set-up.

As with all live albums, recording quality and crowd interaction are an important factor. If it doesn’t sound live, then you might as well buy the studio albums, but if it sounds like a bad live show, you have wasted your money. Wrecking Everything – Live has excellent sound quality. During the songs, all of the playing comes through crisp and the vocals are clear, and during the pauses you can hear the crowd either cheering them on. You even get a great audience singalong during “In Union We Stand,” introduced by Blitz with a great dedication to the way the people of New Jersey and New York came together last year.

Overkill still shreds after all these years. Some people may call them repetitive, playing the same music over and over again, but they are not the audience the band is seeking. They play for their fans and for themselves, neither group insulting the other. If you are an Overkill fan, I doubt that you will be disappointed with this album. If you have never heard Overkill, but you enjoy early Metallica and Megadeth, this will serve as a great introduction to the band, with a sample from several of their albums. Wrecking Everything – Live is as close to experiencing Overkill live as you are going to get, without seeing the real thing. The only caution I would give fans is that the DVD version of this show comes out later this year. However, CDs are more portable, but remember my advice about listening while driving.

Spitfire Records: http://www.spitfirerecords.com

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