text: Dawid Krosnia
The Grinding Wheel
February 10th, 2017
The Grinding Wheel is one of those albums that I was awaiting with huge anticipation and excitement. I’ve been following Overkill and their releases for years. Every time with every record you get what’s expected, a great portion of kick-ass thrash metal. It’s not different with The Grinding Wheel. Overkill always stayed true to their craft. They’ve followed the same path since the release of their highly acclaimed debut Feel the Fire just over thirty years ago. This band doesn’t need to reinvent itself. Overkill is doing just fine. I’m actually surprised how much energy and motivation they have still left in them.
The Grinding Wheel is Overkill’s eighteenth full-length album. Yes, eighteenth! Each release has something different to offer but this trouble making, wrecking crew just unleashed a monster of the record. They’ve managed to combine all the experience and influences from the past and create something fresh and unique, yet so goddamn Overkill.
The album has seen the daylight earlier this month and it was released by the Nuclear Blast. We’ve been terribly teased by the label with short trailers and band interviews over the last few months. The pain was unimaginable, every time I’ve heard pieces of the upcoming songs I was almost reduced to tears. It’s not fair. The first song that was released by the label to promote the album was Our Finest Hour followed by the opening track Mean, Green, Killing Machine and the excellent Goddamn Trouble. All three tracks are the first three songs on The Grinding Wheel. Each song is musically and stylistically different yet when you play them one after another they form a certain unity. That’s what I love about this band. The uniqueness and originality of the songwriting. The Grinding Wheel was produced by the band and mixed by Andy Sneap and the artwork was created once again by Travis Smith. When you see this type of people involved in visual and production side of things, you can expect only perfection.
I could easily write a story about each individual song on this album because each one of those songs offers something fresh to write about. But guess what… I’m not going to do that. Why? Because, I want you, the listener, reach for this record and hear it for yourself and make your own thoughts about it. This is probably the most versatile album they’ve ever recorded. I can easy bang my head from start to finish. The Grinding Wheel is full of energy and emotions. Bobby Blitz’s vocal range is unforgettable. This guy is so talented, probably my favourite thrash metal singer. I just don’t know how he does it! How do you keep your voice so fresh and unchanged after decades of touring and alcohol abuse? Is he a human or is he a machine? I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a chance to witness Overkill live but you must do. I’m sure they’ll be back in Europe after the first leg of the promotional tour in the US. You must watch them live and see it for yourself. They are getting better with age and they haven’t got the intention of slowing down. They are like the titled heavy ‘grinding wheel‘ that is pushing forward like a killing machine. Once it starts rolling down, you’ll never be able to stop it.