Thursday, September 7, 2017
Overkill: The Grinding Wheel (2017)
Now, just because I said the band has been consistent does not mean that there is not a weaker album here and there. Weaker in the sense that it does not reach the heights that other releases do and tends to be a little more middle-of-the-road. Not weaker in that it is a bad album. Overkill has never released a bad album. Unfortunately, this is one of those slightly weaker albums. It is not as dynamic as some of the band's other albums in this era of their careers. It does not have the same ferocity as say, Ironbound, which was a true monster of an album and their best since the early 1990's.
The album definitely starts off strong, with the anthemic "Mean, Green, Killing Machine", which I imagine will be quite the popular song at their concerts (it has been several years since I have seen Overkill live and they did absolutely slay). Unfortunately that song does kind of overstay its welcome over its nearly eight-minute run time. And that is a lot of the problem with this album in a nutshell. There are only two songs under five minutes, and those are just barely under. It is hard for a band to maintain intensity over that long of a run-time, particularly a thrash metal band known more for speed. The songs tend to meander a little and lose focus. Now, Overkill has certainly made long albums before, but this album just loses something.
Now, again, this is still a damn good album. It just does not quite hold up to the standard set down by the band over the last 35 years, which is a long time for any band to keep up this level of quality. And Overkill has been consistently putting out great thrash metal throughout their career. It is only natural that some albums will hold up better over time. This is just not one of those.