Overkill are a NYC speed metal/thrash band that has been around as long as anybody who started in this scene, but unlike bands like Megadeth and Metallica, who have gone for a commercial sound, Overkill have remained true to their sound. Overkill actually started as a cover band and their name was taken from the Motorhead song of the same name.

Feel the Fire Overkill-Feel the Fire (Megaforce) 1985

1."Raise the Dead" (4:18)
2."Rotten to the Core" (4:58)
3."There's No Tomorrow" (3:20)
4."Second Son" (3:59)
5."Hammerhead" (4:00)
6."Feel the Fire" (5:47)
7."Blood and Iron" (2:38)
8."Kill at Command" (4:47)
9."Overkill" (3:36)
10."Sonic Reducer" (2:50)

After releasing "Death Rider" on Metal Massacre V, Overkill began to gain a following, especially in their home town of New York City. They then released this roughly recorded speed metal symphony. To be honest, I had not heard of them until "Taking Over" and it was years before I bought this one and it just pales in comparison to what I already was familiar with. Some would consider this a thrash classic however. "Rotten to the Core" a very punk influenced ditty and "Hammerhead" are my favorite songs from this one. This cd version has the bonus track "Sonic Reducer," which is a good song as well. To bad they didn't include "Death Rider" as a bonus track as well.

Rotten To The Core Overkill-Rotten to the Core (cdr bootleg)

1. "Rotten to the Core" (5:19)
2. "Fatal If Swallowed" (6:20)
3. "The Answer" (9:07)
4. "Overkill" (3:56)
5. "Overkill" (3:12)
6. "The Beast Within" (3:50)
7. "There's No Tomorrow" (3:17)
8. "Death Rider" (3:32)
9. "Raise the Dead" (3:03)
10. "Hole in the Sky" -live (3:42)
11. "E.vil n.ever d.ies" -live (6:11)
12. "Rotten to the Core" -live (5:10)
13. "Second Son" -live (3:59)
14. "Hammerhead" -live (4:41)
15. "Overkill" -live (3:32)

A bootleg of a bootleg. This disc features rare demo tracks and some live material as well, including the Overkill EP, the Power In Black demo, a live promo, Live 'Kill and four songs recorded live in Europe. Tracks 5-9 are from the "Power in Black" demo. Tracks 10 and 11 are recorded Live at the Ritz in New York City on January 27, 1990. These two tracks, along with tracks 1-4 have also been released on "F*** You and then Some." Tracks 12-15 were recorded live in Europe, 1986. As far as I know, besides the Metal Massacre compilation this is the only place that "Death Rider" has ever been released. I don't think "The Beast Within" has ever been released officially. Not sure why these two tracks weren't rerecorded for "Feel the Fire" as both of them are prime Overkill. This was originally released on Reborn Classics, my copy is a perfect reproduction, complete with all the color inserts. Not exactly sure of the year of release on this bootleg.

Taking Over Overkill-Taking Over (Megaforce) 1987

1."Deny the Cross" (4:42)
2."Wrecking Crew" (4:30)
3."Fear His Name" (5:23)
4."Use Your Head" (4:18)
5."Fatal if Swallowed" (6:44)
6."Powersurge" (4:34)
7."In Union We Stand" (4:23)
8."Electro-Violence" (3:43)
9."Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)" (7:05)

This was actually the first Overkill album that I ever purchased. I played side two continually as it contained some killer hooks and riffs. "Powersurge, In Union, Electo-Violence, Overkill II" are all classic Overkill tunes that still sound good to this day. Still waiting for someone to cover "In Union We Stand." "Wrecking Crew," a vicious thrasher, would also become the name of their fan club as well as their web site. (www.wreckingcrew.com) The lyrics on this disc were still a bit immature, i.e. "Fatal If Swallowed" is an insipid oral sex song. Better things are to come. Was able to replace my crappy vinyl with a new cd for only $8.99. Not a bad deal.

...and then Some Overkill-Fuck You and Then Some (Megaforce) 1987/1996

1."Fuck You!" (2:20)
2."Rotten to the Core"-live (6:41)
3."Hammerhead"-live (3:57)
4."Use Your Head"-live (5:18)
5."Electro-Violence"-live (3:50)
6."Fuck You!"-live (2:28)
7."Hole in the Sky"-live (3:42)
8."E.vil N.ever D.ies"-live (6:11)
9."Rotten to the Core" (5:14)
10."Fatal if Swallowed" (6:20)
11."The Answer" (8:49)
12."Overkill" (3:41)

This original EP (released in 1987) was banned for a long time. (Hmmm, I wonder why?!) This 1996 re-release contains a few bonus tracks including a live version of Black Sabbath's "Hole in the Sky" plus four studio demo cuts. "F.U." is an original punk-influenced song that I could care less about as I find it to be a bit stupid.The live material, on the other hand, is cool and the main reason I bought this EP. NYC attitude put to music. The front cover art sucks!

Under the Influence Overkill-Under the Influence (Megaforce/Atlantic) 1987

1."Shred" (4:05)
2."Never Say Never" (5:58)
3."Hello from the Gutter" (4:12)
4."Mad Gone World" (4:31)
5."Brainfade" (4:08)
6."Drunken Wisdom" (6:18)
7."End of the Line" (7:03)
8."Head First" (6:02)
9."Overkill III (Under the Influence)" (6:28)

This is one of Overkillís best albums and it is also one of their best selling records. "Shred," "Hello from the Gutter," "Head First" and "End of the Line" are all Overkill classics; all of which are also favorites of mine.

The Years of Decay Overkill-The Years of Decay (Atlantic) 1989

1."Time to Kill" (6:16)
2."Elimination" (4:34)
3."I Hate" (3:48)
4."Nothing to Die For" (4:22)
5."Playing with Spiders/Skullkrusher" (10:09)
6."Birth of Tension" (5:02)
7."Who Tends the Fire" (8:09)
8."The Years of Decay" (8:01)
9."E.vil N.ever D.ies" (5:49)

There are a bunch of cool songs on this cd, but to be honest I always though it sounded more like the left over tracks from the "Under the Influence" session. Blitz's snake like hiss, however, was improving with each album. His ear-piercing shriek on "E.vil N.ever D.ies" is impressive. This song, I have read, is actually "Overkill IV" but for some reason it wasn't named as such. "Skullkrusher" is a slow heavy dirge sounding more like Black Sabbath than the punk influenced speed metal of every other song.

Horrorscope Overkill-Horrorscope (Atlantic) 1991

1."Coma" (5:21)
2."Infectious" (4:04)
3."Blood Money" (4:07)
4."Thanx for Nuthin'" (4:03)
5."Bare Bones" (4:51)
6."Horrorscope" (5:10)
7."New Machine" (5:20)
8."Frankenstein"-instrumental (3:27)
9."Live Young, Die Free" (4:09)
10."Nice Day...for a Funeral" (6:15)
11."Soulitude" (5:24)

Overkill was at their peak here. Despite recently losing guitarist/songwriter Bobby Gustafson, this disc was their best so far. Blitz's high pitch shriek fit in perfectly. When asked in Metal Maniacs which album Blitz would pick as his favorite Overkill thrash disc, he picked this one. I would agree, this disc is simply fabulous! Even the oddball cover of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" rocks! I would rank this album up with Megadeth's "Rust in Peace," Anthrax's "Spreading the Disease" and Metallica's "Master of Puppets." If that doesn't tell you how much I like this album, then you don't know anything about metal!
Found my cd copy for $8 used. (Of course a few weeks later I found another used copy for $3.99. Damn, see how that works!)

I Hear Black Overkill-I Hear Black (Atlantic) 1993

1."Dreaming in Columbian" (4:00)
2."I Hear Black" (5:37)
3."World of Hurt" (5:20)
4."Feed My Head" (5:36)
5."Shades of Grey" (5:19)
6."Spiritual Void" (5:14)
7."Ghost Dance" (1:46)
8."Weight of the World" (4:07)
9."Ignorance & Innocence" (5:00)
10."Undying" (5:25)
11."Just Like You" (4:14)

Uh, oh, Overkill slow down a bit for this one and drop much of the punk influence. This one sounding more Metallica-like than anything they have ever done before. "World of Hurt" is a cool song, as is "Spiritual Void" both of which would soon make an appearance on their live album. Overall, this is a great album, although uncharacteristic for Overkill, if not a bit more musically mature than past releases. For many years I saw copies of this in used bins, but I haven't seen one recently.

Overkill-W.F.O. (Atlantic) 1994

1."Where it Hurts" (5:34)
2."Fast Junkie" (4:21)
3."The Wait--New High in Lows" (5:46)
4."They Eat Their Young" (4:57)
5."What's Your Problem" (5:11)
6."Under One" (4:15)
7."Supersonic Hate" (4:17)
8."R.I.P. (Undone)" (1:43)
9."Up to Zero" (4:08)
10."Bastard Nation" (5:38)
11."Gasoline Dream" (6:50)
12."Heaven and Hell/The Ripper/Voodoo Chile" (3:55)

The mix on this album is absolutely terrible. The bass guitar dominates the mix, but it is so clanky and annoying that I can't stand it. Too bad because the music is top notch thrash metal. This is one of the first Overkill albums I bought on cd after getting rid of my vinyl collection some years before. It took me a long time to get back into Overkill because of it. Finally I bought "Taking Over" and then the scurry to re-build my Overkill collection was refueled. The hidden track is basically a sloppy studio jam of Black Sabbbath, Judas Priest & Jimi Hendrix. This would be their last major label release.

Overkill-Wrecking Your Neck Live (CMC International) 1995

1. "Intro/Where It Hurts" (7:26)
2. "Infectious" (4:06)
3. "Coma" (3:59)
4. "Supersonic Hate" (4:44)
5. "Wrecking Crew" (1:10)
6. "Powersurge (4:13)
7. "Wait/New High in Lows" (6:11)
8. "Skullkrusher" (6:23)
9. "Spiritual Void" (4:53)
10. "Hello from the Gutter" (3:26)
11. "Anxiety" -bass solo (1:50)
12. "Elimination" (5:07)
13. "Fast Junkie" (4:05)
14. "World of Hurt" (5:01)

15. "Gasoline Dream" (7:41)
16. "Rotten to the Core" (5:38)
17. "Horrorscope" (5:59)
18. "Under One" (3:55)
19. "New Machine" (4:21)
20. "Thanx for Nothin"' (5:01)
21. "Bastard Nation" (5:58)
22. "Fuck You/War Pigs"(7:03)

A great live set that covers songs from every album up and through "W.F.O." "Wrecking Crew" was recorded live in Cleveland, the same place their live ep was recorded. I really enjoyed hearing the older songs like "Powersurge" and "Hello from the Gutter" in this live setting. Like any GOOD like album the older songs are beefier and sound even better than the originals giving them new life. The songs from "W.F.O." are actually produced better on this live album then they were on the studio album making them more listenable. Most of the songs are charged up and played at warp speed. "Fuck You" contains a good portion of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." Overkill are a great live band. Picked this one up from BMG.

Overkill-The Killing Kind (CMC International) 1996

1."Battle" (4:31)
2."God-Like" (4:11)
3."Certifiable" (3:25)
4."Burn You Down/To Ashes" (6:47)
5."Let Me Shut That for You" (5:19)
6."Bold Face Pagan Stomp" (5:42)
7."Feeding Frenzy" (4:13)
8."The Cleansing" (5:50)
9."The Mourning After/Private Bleeding" (4:36)
10."Cold, Hard Fact" (5:19)

I've heard people complain that Overkill are still doing the same kind of music, yet it's these same people who are complaining about bands like Metallica and Megadeth changing styles. Well, I applaud Overkill for staying true to themselves.Overkill is Overkill, they don't pretend to be anybody else. "The Killing Kind" is actually a return to form in my opinion. Blitz and crew have a new label and have recruited two new guitar players who seem to have motivated the whole band a bit. The sound, while still retaining the speed metal title, has changed a bit. "The Killing Kind" has more groove and even a bit more hardcore influence than anything Overkill has done in the past. I ate this album up, playing it over and over again. Pales slightly in comparison to "From the Undergound and Below" and "Necroshine" however.

Overkill-From the Underground & Below (CMC International) 1997

1. It Lives (4:31)
2. Save Me (4:56)
3. Long Time Dyin' (4:53)
4. Genocya (4:46)
5. Half Past Dead (5:29)
6. F.U.C.T. (4:56)
7. I'm Alright (4:20)
8. Rip N' Tear (4:18)
9. Promises (4:49)
10. Little Bit O' Murder (4:09)

From the Underground & Below is colder, more ridged, more technical and more mechanical than anything Overkill has done before. (Those are good things.) This album, as well as "The Killing Kind," seemed to be Overkill attempting to be taken more seriously. The punk influences of the past are gone and some more modern influences like Pantera are creeping in. There are even some samples thrown in here and there. Now, don't think that Overkill has sold out, as this is still pure metal, it's just that their sound has progressed a bit. Songs like "It Lives," "Rip n' Tear" and "Little Bit O' Murder" are all speed metal tunes but with a bit more groove. This is actually a nice change as compared to the play it as fast as you can attitude of the past. "Promises" is a ballad?!? Yes, an Overkill ballad, that isn't bad really. Not exactly sure if this is true, but with Blitz dealing with some sort of cancer, this song may be a reflection of that experience. I dunno, I really like this disc a lot. It's probably my favorite post "Horrorscope" Overkill album. The metal onslaught continues. . .

Overkill-Necroshine (CMC International) 1999

1. "Necroshine (6:03)
2. "My December (5:01)
3. "Let Us Prey (6:40)
4.80 Cycles (5:50)
5.Revelation (4:39)
6.Stone Cold Jesus (5:19)
7.Forked Tongue Kiss (4:02)
8.I Am Fear (4:30)
9.Black Line (4:43)
10. Dead Man (4:16)

"Necroshine" picks up where "From the Underground" left off. There really isn't much difference between the two. Since I became tired of "From the Underground" it was cool to get a new disc from Overkill that I could play the crap out of. A reviewer from Metal Maniacs said this was one of the best metal releases of 1999. I agree with that, but I still like "From the Underground" a little better.

Overkill-Coverkill (CMC International) 1999

1."Overkill"-live (4:16)
2."No Feelings" (2:36)
3."Hymn 43" (2:59)
4."Changes" (4:57)
5."Space Truckin'" (3:59)
6."Deuce" (3:05)
7."Never Say Die" (3:24)
8."Death Tone" (4:24)
9."Cornucopia" (4:46)
10."Tyrant" (4:00)
11."Ain't Nothin' to Do" (2:13)
12."I'm Against It" (2:43)

Coverkill arrives only a few months after its predecessor "Necroshine." In the tradition of such artists as Metallica, Anthrax, etc., Overkill has released their own CD of cover songs, which is only natural for them considering Overkill started out as a cover band. Anyhow, Overkill chose to cover THREE Black Sabbath tunes. This should not be a surprise as they have been outspoken Sabbath fans since their inception and have covered a few of their songs in the past already, none of which are included on this compilation. The coolest Sabbath cover is "Never Say Die" as it is such an obscure Ozzy-era song. The Deep Purple cover "Space Truckin'," is from the Japanese version of "From the Underground and Below," thus negating my need to buy that expensive import version, which was on my want list. A cover of Motorhead's "Overkill" is only natural. "Deuce" is a smokin" cover of the "hottest band in the world" KISS! Some of the more bizzare choices for covers are: Manowar's "Death Tone" and Jethro Tull's "Hymn 43," both of which are pretty cool interpretations. "Tyrant" a Priest cover which also appeared on the Judas Priest Tribute disc, is one of the more lackluster covers on the album. The remaining songs are all of the punk variety; the Ramones "I'm Against It" being the funniest. (I'm against Burger King! HA!) The Dead Boys ("Ain't Nothin' to Do") and the Sex Pistols ("No Feelings") are sort of stiff and don't work as well as the metal covers. Liner notes include thoughts by D.D. Verni & Blitz about each song.

Bloodletting Overkill-Bloodletting (Metal-Is) 2000

1. Thunderhead (5:39)
2. Bleed Me (4:30)
3. What I'm Missin' (4:36)
4. Death Comes Out to to Play (5:02)
5. Let It Burn (5:18)
6. I, Hurricane (5:04)
7. Left Hand Man (6:10)
8. Blown Away (6:43)
9. My Name Is Pain (4:17)
10. Can't Kill a Dead Man (4:05)

Once again, Overkill does not fail to deliver the goods. This disc is 100% metal, staying true to the formula that works best for them, and the one that I prefer.  Excellent grooves throughout, as well as another stellar production. Once again, Overkill are back to a four piece with new guitarist Dave Linsk, who also played on some of Overkill's "Coverkill" disc. Still on board is bassist DD Verni, vocalist Blitz Ellsworth, and longtime drummer Tim Malone.


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