The Years of Decay(1989) by Overkill
One of my personal favorite thrash metal bands of all time comes back in an appearance here. I actually just realized I’m doing this review because I saw them in concert in October. Perhaps I should do the same for Symphony X. Anyway, these guys are an American thrash metal band since 1980 and have formed in the state of New Jersey, so their music is not gonna be fit for radio no matter what you do. Having had pretty consistent albums since their first release and still trucking today with Bobby Ellsworth sounding like he’s still young, this is a band many will recognize as a great band for the ages. Although to newcomers, this is not an album I would recommend.
The Years of Decay contains the classic setlist of 8 tracks that was popular for there time. Each of those 8 tracks has something to offer you other than a brutal whiplash.
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For example, Playing With Spiders/Skullkrusher is the epic of this album lasting just over ten minutes with a very bassy and heavy sound to it, despite it being incredibly slow for the most part. Elimination is more or less a single. Although it’s interesting to point out that the main riff to this sounds oddly like Metallica’s Master of Puppets. I’m half sure that’s on purpose but it’s still a fun song none the less, plus it gets in twice the energy in half the time. The title track has more of a melodic touch, as does I Hate, and can easily transition to clean sounding guitars to epic thrash-packs in an instant, and do so pretty well. Plus a nice bonus is that it’s pretty long, about 8 minutes, and thus has more time to execute such sounds and melodic transitions, as with Who Tends the Fire. I Hate is a bit more on the punky side and is pretty good and I feel I’m just gushing from here on. It will be a fun 50 or so minutes to sit and enjoy because of it. In case you’re wondering, my favorite tracks from this are Skullkrusher Elimination and The Years of Decay. It leaves a very dirty aftertaste afterwards once you decide to leave the amazing stuff here, but in a good way. Why? Because Overkill was always meant to sound incredibly thrashy, dirty and take no prisoners. I thinks it’s pretty easy to see why I love it so much. Is it perfect? Not really, the sound could be less raw sounding and still be similar here as we’ve seen in their most recent work. But that’s more of a very minor nitpick here and it is already great as it is.
I give this a 9.8/10. I am the Grim Reaper, signing off.