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The Wiki entry for "overkill" defines the word by stating it's "the use of excessive force or action that goes further than is necessary to achieve its goal". Dare I say 'The Electric Age' has been mastered at such a high volume (albeit with no noticeable clipping) that the US thrash veterans ironically pertain to that Wiki definition with their latest release and live up to their namesake. However, loudness war arguments aside, which is my only real criticism of the album, Overkill have returned to do what they do best. There are no pretensions whatsoever here; it's retro trash through and through, and delivered with all the energy and zest of a band evidently still passionate about what they do (although only frontman Bobby Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni remain from Overkill's original formation). Forget the likes of Evile, Bonded by Blood, Gama Bomb and all the other thrash plagiarists that have emerged in recent years (even though, despite shameless imitation, they're still admirably flying the flag for the genre), for here we have the real deal. Riff-heavy throughout, as one would expect, with thrash's idiomatic palm-muted chords abound, it's kind of interesting that few of the riffs stand out as discrete entities so I predict when fans fully digest the record they won't be talking about "this cool riff " and "that cool riff" in particular tracks. The riffing, which is precise, heavy and intense, is deployed as part of the overall effect within the context of songs along with the drums and bass rather than dominating proceedings. That is to say, it drives rather than dominates. In that sense, there are no particular stand-out tracks, rather 'The Electric Age' is best digested as a whole to attain the full effect of Overkill's relentless thrash assault. Vocally, Ellsworth sounds as good as he ever has and Dave Linsk's solo work is of the expected high standard, albeit perhaps a little too low in the mix. Generally, the songs are fairly formulaic in structure but Overkill are undoubtedly feeding expectations of what fans want from the band. In that sense, they more than deliver the goods. Innovative it is not, retro thrash it is. Expect the latter and you won't be disappointed.
Nuclear Blast
Review by Mark Holmes
30th March 2012
1) Come and Get It
2) Electric Rattlesnake
3) Wish You Were Dead
4) Black Daze
5) Save Yourself
6) Drop the Hammer
7) 21st Century Man
8) Old Wounds New Scars
9) All Over But The Shouting
10) Good Night
"The riffing, which is precise, heavy and intense, is deployed as part of the overall effect within the context of songs...That is to say, it drives rather than dominates."