“Welcome to the gutter! We’ve been expecting you!”
Overkill never reached the heights of other Thrash Metal bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, or Anthrax. I bet if you ask all of those bands where they would be without Overkill, they’d say “nowhere”. Their first album came out after those bands started up, but their first shows as a band predate all of them by at least a year. Never slowing down or changing their style for anyone, Overkill is the longest lasting and tenured Thrash Metal band. Their third album, Under the Influence was released in 1988. This was the same year as other insane albums like, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, …And Justice For All, Operation Mindcrime, and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2. Trust me, we’ll get to some of those albums during the time off we all have.
The Background on Under The Influence
Overkill has had a pretty stable top end of their lineup throughout their run. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D.D. Verni have been the only members for their entire run since 1980. Under the Influence lacks the epic, grand, sound quality of their previous two records. Instead of that, it packs in a brash, hard, raw sound. Think of this as their precursor to bigger and better things. They would combine the two sounds and styles on their next album, The Years of Decay. That’s what most consider to be Overkill’s best album.
In the pantheon of their records, Under the Influence falls just short of the high bar that album sets. It lines up as one of the best in Thrash Metal of the period though. The highlights of the record are definitely, “Hello From the Gutter”, “Shred”, “Never Say Never”, and “Overkill III (Under the Influence)”.
Check out yesterday’s music recommendation right here:
Why Overkill and Under the Influence Are So Awesome
Overkill is very much a thrash metal band, through and through. For me particularly, some thrash metal bands can be too much into the Death Metal styling of playing as fast as possible and not really having audible vocals. Overkill sounds closer to Iron Maiden and Motorhead than they do to Death. If you just told Iron Maiden to play faster, you’d get something similar to Overkill. “Hello From The Gutter” is an anthem for any metal fan out there. You’re in the gutter with the rest of the heavy metal maniacs out there. Enjoy your thrashing, crashing, time.
The whole album is one that spreads a different message than most bands of the time. Overkill is out there to have a good time, and in a very AC/DC or Motorhead style move, it’s all about the music. There aren’t any frills, they’ve had lineup changes over the years, but you never hear about people hating Overkill or the people in the band. If you’ve never got the chance to check them out, now is your time. That’s all for today, who knows what you’ll get as a recommendation tomorrow, I guess you’ll just have to check back and see.
Check out Overkill’s website here, for information and merch from the band.