Genre: Thrash/Heavy/Groove
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2019

I had previously seen on the cover of a German zine that Overkill are the Motorhead of thrash metal. Understood for the filthiness of their music and sound, and the role of the bass. In my head, Overkill have always been to thrash what Saxon has been to classic heavy. Lots of analogies. They never were part of a big-something but they are big on their own. Bands of the road, with a huge discography and the moto “album – touring” as a way of life. Bands that kill it on stage. Huge singers. Discography with diamonds in the beginning, missteps on the way and coming back after that, until today. A small core with a lot of member changes that gave new breath to the bands at times. Very few mistakes in their discography. Respected even among non-fans.Both deserved bigger popularity. I think I made my point so let’s go into the record itself now. The Wings of War is the nineteenth work of Overkill and to people following them, they know that they are through second puberty since 2010 and Ironbound, with amazing records. The new album will not stop this streak. Compared to the previous The Grinding Wheel, there is a more melodic approach, direct play, more grooves and punk elements and classic metal moments. By no means the thrash metal identity of the group is not apparent here. The new drummer of the band Jason Bittner, is a big transfer, fills the album with his playing and he is a good replacer of the talented Ron Lipnicki. The record opens with Last Man Standing which was also the promo track for the record.Classic opening track with attacking riffs, bombarding drums and Blitz almost spitting the lyrics. Continuing with Believe in the Fight that wins you with its direct melodies and chorus. The groovy cut in the middle gives breath to the composition. Head of a Pin has a classic metal structure, 90’s Overkill logic and a Sabbath – aura. Bat Shit Crazy is a middle paced track for concerts, especially its chorus. Distortion slows down in the introduction before evolving into a groove beast. It reminds of how Bitter Pill from White Devil Armory is constructed. Mother’s Prayer is a song that will stick to your head, as it has all the Overkill elements perfectly placed. Welcome to the Garden State is the cousin of Old School from ReliX IV, meaning a punk-thrash dynamite that you wanna shout out whenever you get the chance.Where Few Dare to Walk is an interesting composition of the album. Addictive melody and great groove, it wins you right away. In Out on the Road-Kill we are listening to a simply good Overkill track, but nothing more. Hole in My Soul closes the normal version of the album with a nice way to blend heavy and thrash, reminding of how well they did that in albums like Necroshine. The album is worked to the detail when talking either for composition or production. It’s a nice blend of all the periods of the band with a modern mentality. The huge voice of Blitz is always present, the bass of Verni sounds in front and is a basis for every composition. For the drummer I commented above, while the duo Linsk – Tailer on the guitars has been together for many years now and the maturity and comfort is apparent in their play. An album that doesn’t take the band off the tracks and will please its fans. Welcome to the Garden State…

4,5/6