Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


Overkill - Taking Over - 1987 - Atlantic Records

Track Listing
1. Deny The Cross
2. Wrecking Crew
3. Fear His Name
4. Use Your Head
5. Fatal If Swallowed
6. Powersurge
7. In Union We Stand
8. Electro-Vilolence
9. Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)
This marks the band's second major label release, following up their loud 'n raw debut, "Feel the Fire", a cult sensation through Megaforce Records. Did this New Jersey thrash band have the same energy as "Feel the Fire", or would this be another case of the dreaded sophomore jinx? Let us look at their discography, and the question is answered. Granted the albums stopped being great, (just good, I doubt they could ever make a bad album.) around the 1999 era ("Necroshine" for those keeping score). We are going to focus on a true thrasherpiece this time around, an early US pioneer record called "Taking Over".

Due to some discrepancies of when the band was formed, I’ll stay out of that dogfight. The undeniable facts are the band started with Megaforce Records, but by the time that "Taking Over" was released, Overkill had inked a deal with Atlantic Records, known for their sturdy and rigid support of bands like Testament, Savatage, and Vicious Rumors just to name a few. The infamous thrashers were Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth using his blistering pipes, Bobby Gustafson on guitars (Cycle Sluts From Hell, Skrew, and Responses Negative), D.D. Verni on bass (The Bronx Casket Co.), and Rat Skates on drums.

The self proclaimed Wrecking Crew became known not only for Bobby’s incredible vocal abilities, but also for the bass heavy grooves of D.D. While "Feel The Fire" explored the more teutonic fury of Euro dishes, "Wrecking Crew" played the part of a different character. The Blitz's voice takes on the more widely known Overkill vintage sound, a noticable difference from the "power metal" range heard on the debut. In all reality this Overkill record is really the very beginning of the band's career. From the Euro shine of "Feel The Fire" comes the more gritty, gutter thrash sound made famous by this record, a vicious and mean onslaught that led to more thrashings to come ("Under The Influence", "Years Of Decay").

This bonebreaking affair is highlighted by guts and glory wreckage such as "Wrecking Crew", "Powersurge", and "In Union We Stand", a ballad done Overkill style. From the opening line “I'll steal your life and cut out your heart.” until the closing line, “Strangled in this knot of sin” and everything in between, this is one album that explodes out of the gates like a wild bull and just doesn’t stop. Blitz's vocal style is of course completely out of control, but along with that comes the fast, quick punchs from Bobby Gustafson, with most of the riffs built here coming from the likes of German thrash fests ("Kreator", "Sodom", "Destruction"), but not quite that sadistic or evil. Overkill were about hell-raising and sinful affairs, never quite raising a ruckus like Europe's dark castles. With the crime and grime of New Jersey as the perfect backdrop, "Wrecking Crew" is exactly that. A streetsweeper of chaos that does more than just entertain, it proved to be a way of life for an entire generation.


--Iced Mojo 07.14.05
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: OVERKILL
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Hellish VideosOverkill
2005
Ken Pierce8/17/2005
IronboundOverkill
2010
Vinaya Saksena5/18/2010
Killbox 13Overkill
2003
Eric Compton4/10/2003
RelixIVOverkill
2005
Susan Wright4/7/2005
Taking OverOverkill
1986
Anthony Burke7/10/2005
The Electric AgeOverkill
2012
Chris Kincaid3/23/2012
The Grinding WheelOverkill
2017
Eric Compton2/15/2017
The Grinding WheelOverkill
2017
Frank Hill1/17/2017
White Devil ArmoryOverkill
2014
T. Ray Verteramo7/23/2014
Wrecking EverythingOverkill
2002
Ken Pierce4/1/2005
Wrecking Everything LiveOverkill
2002
Ken Pierce4/1/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: OVERKILL

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: OVERKILL
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
DD VerniOverkillEric Compton, Stygian Steel1/2/2006


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE THRASH STYLED RELEASES:


<< back >>






ERIC COMPTON PICKS
Venom Inc
Avé
Blaze Bayley
Infinite Entanglement
Grave Digger
Return of the Reaper
Wicked Sensation
Crystallized
Bring Me The Horizon
Sempiternal

GREG WATSON PICKS
Ill Nino
Till Death, La Familia
Our Place of Worship Is Silence
The Emodiment of Hate
High Hopes
Sights & Sounds
Audrey Horne
Youngblood
Plague Throat
The Human Paradox

FRANK HILL PICKS
Monster Truck
Sittin' Heavy
Queensryche
Condition Hüman
Crimson Shadows
Kings Among Men
Volbeat
Rock The Rebel / Metal The Devil
Gamma Ray
Land Of The Free II

DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
The Ruins of Beverast
Rain Upon The Impure
Depressed Mode
Ghosts of Devotion
The Chronicles of Israfel
Starborn, Tome I
Textures
Drawing Circles
Aetherius Obscuritas
Viziok