Overkill - The Wings of War

Overkill The Wings of War cover
Overkill
The Wings of War
Nuclear Blast
2019
6
Overkill return for the 19th time with a title, as impressive and bombastic, as wings of war that had the expectation bar set high, despite their previous outing “The Grinding Wheel” proving that the constant grind had taken its toll on them.
 
Almost a facsimile of their past, for the n-th time, “Last Man Standing” offers a classic meat and potato Overkill single that doesn’t inspire much, but can guarantee a small mutiny and a pit, among the crowds. It’s mostly the minimalist themes that work for it, rather than the somewhat standardized Udo like vocalization of Elseworth.
 
“Believe in the Fight” is generic thrashy “Accept”, second rate, with only the chorus, being somewhat cool and rather ironic coming by a bunch that has seemingly fucked all of its former members – not to mention almost all who toured with them. Believe in what?
 
“Head of a Pin” is the other single and it tries to go for groove instead of speed, with some long ass verses that conclude into a rather unsatisfactory bridge-turn-into-chorus.
 
“BatShitCrazy” tries too hard to sound “edgy” and for all its attempts to do so, it sounds rather tired and standard. “BatshitLazy” would be more apt…
 
“Distortion” again tries to mid-tempo things in an effort to give some gravitas to the album, but whereas in the past was able to pull this off successfully, here relying one too many times in the same tricks and even phrases, makes em sound going through the numbers.
 
“A Mother’s Prayer” tries to reinvent “the grinding wheel” by going through more of the same. In all honesty, it’s somewhat better and more original than most of the songs on offer on this album, but with the chorus this time being the culprit for it, not ultimately working.
 
“Welcome to the Garden State” is a song about NJ, complete with a mafioso like spoken intro. A song for the “garden state”  Really?!? Oh boy, rather dear… it’s the one place, I’m sure the rest of the world wouldn’t give a shit if it got nuked out of existence! We’d lose Bon Jovi and the Boss, but much else about it… is rather dull and uneventful, just like this silly throwaway banger track that sounds more like Offspring than OK.
 
“Where Few Dare to Walk”… (not sure if this is a reference to the hairdressers, where Bobby gets his perm treated) finally decides to offer a cool ass riff which is also pronounced in the mix, but really has a boring as fuck, vocal letting it down.
 
“Out on the Road-Kill” tries to copyright more expressions derived from the English language for these Jersey guys to try and screw other people over and it’s both sad and funny at the same time to see bands making-self references, even half arsed ones. It is however for better or for worse the best thing on offer since the initial one-two salvo, so...i t’s not all that bad.
 
“Hole in My Soul” ain’t a cover of Aerosmith, but a rather focused and concentrated effort to close the album in a somewhat cool way, and despite it being somewhat letdown by a less than impressive chorus; its verses carry it through. Sad that this ain’t true for the rest of the album though.
 
A few good riffs and solos, an absence of choruses for the most part and generic mix and match songwriting don’t result in a great album. Overkill going through the motions, delivers its weakest album in a decade, more comparable with their 00s output rather than anything else, while trying to keep the wheel grinding… but the wheel seems to grind to a halt. A few more mediocre releases and personnel changes could easily throw them in the relative slump they were consigned in for the best part of a decade.