Some vocalists are just timeless. Whether it be pronunciations, mannerisms or the delivery itself we identify with these voices and we will support them forever.
Bobby ‘Blitz” Ellsworth has been entertaining audiences with his vocal cords since 1980. I’d argue he’s one of the main reasons why Overkill’s last effort, White Devil Armory cracked the US top forty. Bobby’s voice has become as recognizable as the classic Overkill tracks he continues to make famous. However, as great as Bobby’s voice is, the true longevity of Overkill’s career is their ability to write a memorable song. This latest effort, The Grinding Wheel, is filled with them.
The early thrash bands understood the relationship between lyric and melody. They realized thrash is more than just a catchy chorus. It’s the musical incorporation of lyrical content. Overkill plays to these emotions; their songs are like ‘street poetry’ come to life.
The Grinding Wheel has more narrative qualities than previous efforts and is slightly reminiscent of 2012’s The Electric Age; or perhaps even earlier efforts, songs from the Overkill trilogy: “Overkill”, “Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)” and “Overkill III (Under the Influence)”.
The Grinding Wheel passages are longer, more drawn out, and feature the varying vocal abilities of Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth. The themes incorporated are weapons of war and the economies that fuel it. Highlight tracks for me are: “Mean Green Killing Machine”, “Our Finest Hour” “Let’s All Go to Hades”, “The Wheel”, “Red, White and Blue” and “The Grinding Wheel”.
This is an ambitious effort by Overkill but honestly I’ve come to expect nothing less. They have been consistently excellent since their inception and The Grinding Wheel will continue this undeniable hot streak. \m/
01. Mean Green Killing Machine
02. Goddamn Trouble
03. Our Finest Hour
04. Shine On
05. The Long Road
06. Let’s All Go To Hades
07. Come Heavy
08. Red White And Blue
09. The Wheel
10. The Grinding Wheel
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass
Dave Linsk – Lead Guitar
Derek Tailer – Rhythm Guitar
Ron Lipnicki – Drums