Overkill - Feel The Fire

Overkill - Feel The Fire

Overkill - Feel The Fire

(1995, Majestic Entertainment Inc.)

I like Thrash Metal and to be exact, I love and adore Thrash Metal. It’s all about the relentless aggression or furious rage of an extreme form of Metal music that sends shivers down my spine. Of course the 80s - and some of the early 90s, let’s be serious - were the home of good Thrash Metal plus there seems to be some kind of revival the last half dozen of years in the scene. Nothing can be compared to the 80s though: the wave of Thrash Metal bands emerging out of nowhere to follow the trend succeeded in offering the finest of recordings in the genre. One of them was undoubtedly OVERKILL.

The band from New Jersey formed in 1980 and up to now only singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni remain the only founding members. I remember watching a DVD documentary from original drummer Rat Skates called “Born In The Basement”; you should get this asap so as to have a nice view of what was going on in the East Coast scene in the first half of the 80s decade, by the way. Anyway, OVERKILL released the “Power In Black” demo in 1983 and raised the bar high in the underground circuit. It was the era of tape trading, remember? Soon to follow was the “Overkill” vinyl EP (1984) and now the band was a good ‘brand’ in the uprising thrash Metal movement. But the best was yet to come...

“Feel The Fire” has one of the most exciting covers I’ve ever seen in a Metal album, needless to say. But what matters the most is again the music. And what a helluva album this one is: released under the umbrella of Megaforce Records - one of the most active independent Metal labels at the time - in 1985, the LP is stuffed with powerful tunes that surely are Thrash Metal but also boast a Power/Speed Metal or Punk attitude. Blistering riffs are the main dish here and the rhythm section pounds like there’s no tomorrow. The vocals of one of the most respected Thrash Metal figures ever are exceptional too here while the songwriting itself is immense. No song is a filler and the overall result prepares you to feel the fire at any cost. Really...

With “Feel The Fire” the band was ready to jump on the wagon of commercial success and quickly signed a contract with Atlantic Records. The albums that followed until 1991 were possibly better or louder than the 1985 debut but “Feel The Fire” started it all and this is no tiny news. OVERKILL is still regarded as a high-class act in the Thrash Metal scene and their live shows still are destruction in motion, huh. That’s not a little accomplishment, right?


Tracklist

01. Raise The Dead
02. Rotten To The Core
03. There’s No Tomorrow
04. Second Son
05. Hammerhead
06. Feel The Fire
07. Blood And Iron
08. Kill At Command
09. Overkill
10. Sonic Reducer


Lineup

Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth - Vocals
Bobby Gustafson
- Guitar
Rat Skates
- Drums
D.D. Verni
- Bass