Many of rock and metals great bands have been putting out some of their best work in recent years. Megadeth‘s Dystopia got high marks last year, Anthrax has come out swinging with Worship Music and For All Kings, and New Jersey’s thrash legends Overkill are on that list as well. If you loved White Devil Armory then get ready because The Grinding Wheel will bring a new level to that love, and if you didn’t then the new album might wake you up.
The Grinding Wheel not only shows that Overkill is still at the top of their game as representatives of thrash but it also shows elements of their musical abilities beyond what we already knew. The opening track “Mean Green Killing Machine”, one of two singles released, has elements of thrash, blues, and melodic vocals from Bobby Blitz. If you haven’t heard it yet then check it out here:
That’s just where the surprises begin on this album, which by the way is loaded with epic length tracks. None of the songs clock in at less than 4-minutes in length. And after hearing “The Long Road” it makes me think they channeled a little Iron Maiden. The opening of this track has a gallop to it reminiscent of Iron Maiden but seamlessly slides into a full on in your face thrashterpiece (yes I just made up a word) that’ll have your fist in the air and chanting “onward, upward” wherever you are. Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer truly stand out here. Sure they’ve got speed but the melodies they combine for bring things to a new depth.
I also mentioned that this album brings some bluesy notes. For that go right to “Come Heavy”. If you don’t find yourself toe tapping and swaying to this one that you don’t know heavy blues. Even I caught myself toe tapping and for this cripple that’s not exactly something I do easily. It’s also one of the tracks where you’ll find Blitz meaning more towards singing at times than his usual raspy vocals that we know. Again bringing another new depth and possibilities for what the future holds for Overkill.
As far as this album goes you’ve got two choices as far as this rocker is concerned. You can buy it and crank it to the max or miss out and get caught in the gears of the The Grinding Wheel.