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OVERKILL- s/t 12″EP (Azra / Metal Storm Records, USA, 1984)

Dave from Rocket Science just has posted the test pressing of JAG PANZER’s epochal “Ample Destruction” LP. In honor of both his (underappreciated) blog and JAG PANZER, here’s my instant reply.
OVERKILL belonged to the same wave of NWOBHM-inspired U.S. Metal and long before everybody else, OVERKILL coined the Power Metal tag. But unlike JAG PANZER who released their first vinyl in 1983, OVERKILL’s debut didn’t come out until 1984. If my memory doesn’t fail me, it had been in the making for quite some time but the band had problem finding the right label for this. Weird, because OVERKILL had become extremely popular in the underground circus with the “Power in Black” demo and I think that was in 83 still. So in the end, they were on the same label that had also brought us JAG PANZER.
However – the selftitled 12″ destroys everything they ever recorded: Listen to this orgy of riffs! Bobby “Blitz” Elsworth’s vocals might take a bit of time to get used to, but actually his singing adds much to the unique power of OVERKILL. After this 12″, I didn’t really follow the band’s numerous later releases. This had to do with the fact that Hardcore took things completely over in my music world, but it was also due to OVERKILL turning into one of these “trademark” bands. Did I miss something?
All four songs here on are top class Metal with a bit of a “punky” (Motörhead-esque) finish. “Rotten to the Core” became one of the band’s most popular songs and I think it was re-done on a later album. “Fatal if swallowed” has these insane rhythm and riff-changes that make your backbones break. “The Answer” is a heavy and doomy destroyer and the closing “Overkill” reveals even more of that typical horror movie soundtrack inspired song writing. Sounds a bit like coming from a John Carpenter flick, doesn’t it?

1500 made of this. Sold out immediately after release and has ever been kinda hard to get, though eBay made it simpler.

This one goes out, just like Dave’s post, to those who there in the early 80s.

Rotten to the Core.mp3
Fatal if swallowed.mp3
The Answer.mp3