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  • Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress) Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Awaiting Repress)


    Pressed On 2x 180-Gram Vinyl


    New Artwork Which Finally Sees Mustaine's Original Vision Fully Realized As An Actual Sculpture


    Brilliant Remix By Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel) Which Restores Previously Unheard Parts And Performances, Allowing You To Experience This Album With A Whole New Level Of Details And Notably Increased Sonic Force


    Remastered By Ted Jensen For An Optimal Listening Experience


    Featuring An Introduction By Mustaine, Live Recordings Covering All Album Songs, And The Original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" Demo


    The story of Dave Mustaine's fights with Metallica, which ultimately led to the birth of his own band MEGADETH is basic knowledge of every metal head out there and nothing that's necessary to revisit when talking about the debut assault "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!". It was, is and forever will be one hell of an aggressive, no-holds-barred, maniacal speed/thrash record that now returns in its ultimate version! From the new artwork, which finally sees Mustaine's original vision fully realized as an actual sculpture to the brilliant remix by Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel), which restores previously unheard parts and performances, allowing you to experience this album with a whole new level of details and notably increased sonic force. Featuring an introduction by Mustaine, live recordings covering all album songs and the original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" demo, the 2018 edition of "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!" is a must for each and every MEGADETH fan! Now, rattle your goddamn head!

    LP 1
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
    4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
    5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
    7. Mechanix (Remastered)
    8. These Boots (Remastered)


    LP 2
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
    4. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
    5. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    7. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    8. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
    9. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
    10. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

    Megadeth
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good - The Final Kill (Red Vinyl) (Awaiting Repress)


    Pressed On 2x 180-Gram Red Colored Vinyl


    New Artwork Which Finally Sees Mustaine's Original Vision Fully Realized As An Actual Sculpture


    Brilliant Remix By Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel) Which Restores Previously Unheard Parts And Performances, Allowing You To Experience This Album With A Whole New Level Of Details And Notably Increased Sonic Force


    Remastered By Ted Jensen For An Optimal Listening Experience


    Featuring An Introduction By Mustaine, Live Recordings Covering All Album Songs, And The Original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" Demo


    The story of Dave Mustaine's fights with Metallica, which ultimately led to the birth of his own band MEGADETH is basic knowledge of every metal head out there and nothing that's necessary to revisit when talking about the debut assault "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!". It was, is and forever will be one hell of an aggressive, no-holds-barred, maniacal speed/thrash record that now returns in its ultimate version! From the new artwork, which finally sees Mustaine's original vision fully realized as an actual sculpture to the brilliant remix by Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devil Driver, Whitechapel), which restores previously unheard parts and performances, allowing you to experience this album with a whole new level of details and notably increased sonic force. Featuring an introduction by Mustaine, live recordings covering all album songs and the original 1984 "Skull Beneath The Skin" demo, the 2018 edition of "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!" is a must for each and every MEGADETH fan! Now, rattle your goddamn head!

    LP 1
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
    4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
    5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
    7. Mechanix (Remastered)
    8. These Boots (Remastered)


    LP 2
    1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
    2. Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
    4. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
    5. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    6. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    7. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
    8. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
    9. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
    10. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

    Megadeth
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Screaming For Vengeance (Awaiting Repress) Screaming For Vengeance (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $24.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Screaming For Vengeance (Awaiting Repress)

    Screaming for Vengeance on Numbered Limited Edition LP from Mobile Fidelity Silver Label


    Double-Platinum 1982 Blockbuster Remains Judas Priest's Most Commercially Successful LP


    Includes Electric Eye, Screaming for Vengeance, You've Got Another Thing Comin'


    Dual Magnesium-Burn Guitars, Leather-Tough Percussion, Molten-Hot Melodies Help Form Triangular Equilibrium of Speed, Accessibility, and Attitude


    Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI


    You've got another thing comin'! Distinguished by dual magnesium-burn guitars, leather-tough percussion, molten-hot melodies, and the unmistakable piercing falsetto of operatic vocalist, Screaming for Vengeance became the soundtrack to millions of music lovers' lives in the early 1980s as Judas Priest continued to lay waste to its contemporaries' softer, cheesier hard-rock styles. An effort on which precision-based speed, mainstream accessibility, and resilient attitude meet in triangular equilibrium, the 1982 set remains the British metal legends' top-selling record.


    Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Series numbered limited edition LP shows off the grand intersection of daring adventure and commercial purpose achieved via ironclad production values and entrenched grooves. The latter particularly benefit from this analog pressing, as the group never overlooks the importance of rhythm and pace even when stoking tempos to engine-combusting levels. Leagues ahead of the sonics gracing its peers' albums from the time, the sense of balance, separation, and realism is on par with that of big-budget rock creations.


    Staked by the breakout "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," which burns white-hot with foot-pounding riffs, prize-fighting percussion, and singer Rob Halford's gun-for-hire blare, Screaming for Vengeance clutches hold of the jugular and doesn't let go. A return to the band's gritty, purist roots, the record revisits the themes of darkness, menace, and the unknown firmly established on the pioneering Stained Class and Killing Machine. Along with those albums, and British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance is the template for the catchy albeit uncompromisingly heavy crossover success Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax enjoyed years later.


    With the one-two opening tandem of the instrumental "The Hellion" and stomping "Electric Eye," overseen by Halford as if he's embodying the persona of a wicked James Bond villain, Priest sounds utterly futuristic and terrifying, the instruments seemingly on a swivel and the sawed-off tones flooding the guitar solos with intimidation. A classic head-out-to-the highway anthem ("Riding on the Wind"), a racing proto-thrash banger ("Screaming for Vengeance"), and a scorching exorcism ("Devil's Child") function as the metal-hued bolts that hold the foundations of this Top 20-charting benchmark in place.


    Perhaps more so here than on any other record, Priest spit-shines hooks and collusive six-string harmonic leads to perfection, giving listeners ying-yang doses of pain and pleasure, sweet and bitter. Songs at once invite sing-a-longs and fist-pumping responses. Screaming for Vengeance marked the last time Priest would sound this heavy in the 80s. No wonder it was voted the 12th best metal album of all time in Martin Popoff's definitive book of the same name.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. The Hellion
    2. Electric Eye
    3. Riding on the Wind
    4. Bloodstone
    5. (Take These) Chains
    6. Pain and Pleasure
    7. Screaming for Vengeance
    8. You've Got Another Thing Comin'
    9. Fever
    10. Devil's Child
    Judas Priest
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Jomsviking Jomsviking Quick View

    $30.99
    Buy Now
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    Jomsviking


    Double LP With Pop-Up Viking Ship


    Swedish metal kings Amon Amarth will unleash their 10th studio album, Jomsviking, via Metal Blade Records! Jomsviking - the band's first concept record in their storied career - tells a tragic tale of love and revenge, backed by the Swedes' trademark melodic, anthemic metal, which was produced and mixed once again by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament, Accept) and also features special guest session drummer Tobias Gustafsson (Vomitory). The epic original story is set in the world of the Jomsvikings, the legendary order of mercenary Vikings. As front-man Johan Hegg explains: "The Jomsvikings were a shadowy and legendary sect of Viking mercenaries, as shrouded in myth now as they were when they fought across Europe and the Middle East. Ruthless and deadly warriors who fought for the highest bidder, their code was simple: Show no fear. Never retreat. Defend your brothers, and when called upon, avenge their deaths. I felt we were finally ready to use their story as the jumping off point for an Amon Amarth album. The Jomsvikings and their world is the background for the story of a young man that is in love with a girl but unfortunately she's being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee - but he swears to have revenge and win her back. He feels that he's been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The way the story evolves is not a happy story."


    By far their most ambitious project to date, fans can view the video for the album's first single, "First Kill". Produced by Grupa 13 and directed by Darek Szermanowicz (Behemoth), "First Kill" was filmed in Gohrweide (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland) and features a cinematic depiction of the violent, brutal lyrics, along with powerful live footage of the band performing with their full dragon head and pyro stage-set.

    1. First Kill
    2. Wanderer
    3. On a Sea of Blood
    4. One Against All
    5. Raise Your Horns
    6. The Way of Vikings
    7. At Dawn's First Light
    8. One Thousand Burning Arrows
    9. Vengeance Is My Name*
    10. A Dream That Cannot Be
    11. Back on Northern Shores


    * bonus track

    Amon Amarth
    $30.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Breathing The Fire (Picture Disc) (Awaiting Repress) Breathing The Fire (Picture Disc) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $19.99
    Buy Now
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    Breathing The Fire (Picture Disc) (Awaiting Repress)


    Now Available As A Vibrant Picture Disc!


    Limited To 500 Copies Worldwide


    Artwork by Andrei Bouzikov


    Formed in Athens, Ohio, Skeletonwitch has been launching Metal assaults on an unsuspecting underground since 2003. The members of The Witch are bonded by the universal truth, that Heavy Metal is the law, thereby unleashing the band's brand of ripping, epic Thrash. Everything begins with the purity and aggression of the '80s Bay Area Thrash scene, but Skeletonwitch further fuels its evil onslaught with elements of Black and Viking Metal while proudly waving the NWOBHM flag. Imagine a young Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus slamming beers and cranking up Immortal records at a rager in 1985. Just when you think the keg is killed, Judas Priest joins the party with a fresh case of beer.

    1. Submit to the Suffering
    2. Longing for Domination
    3. Where the Light Has Failed
    4. Released from the Catacombs
    5. Stand Light and Die
    6. The Despoiler of Human Life
    7. Crushed Beyond Dust
    8. Blinding Black Rage
    9. Gorge Upon My Soul
    10. Repulsive Salvation
    11. Strangled by Unseen Hands
    12. ...and into the Flame
    Skeletonwitch
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP Picture Disc - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel The Grinding Wheel Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Grinding Wheel

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like "Death Rider," "The Beast Within," and "Raise The Dead" already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.


    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.


    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. "It just makes sense for us," reflects D.D. "If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing "Grinder," the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work."


    "One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time," seconds Blitz. "Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics."


    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in "Come Heavy" and Iron Maiden in "The Long Road" and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.


    "Punk is huge for Overkill," confirms Verni. "And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world."


    Central to that premise is the incendiary "Let's All Go to Hades" which is sure to become a pit favourite. "This one was a hell of a lot of fun," says Blitz. "You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more."


    Adds D.D., "It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes."


    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is "Our Finest Hour." "It's about the recognition of sameness," explains Ellsworth. "I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune."


    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like "The Long Road." D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. "Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on "Our Finest Hour," is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.


    "I've had that kind of sound now for a long time," says Verni. "There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars."


    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. "Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds."


    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.


    "That's the strength of the band," explains Blitz. "Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization."


    And Ron? "He's one-of-a-kind," says Verni. "He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it."


    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.


    "I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.


    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.


    "For sure," says Blitz. "One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear."

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Grinding Wheel (Yellow And Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Yellow And Black Vinyl

    Armed with pioneering pure metal proposals like Death Rider, The Beast Within, and Raise The Dead already in 1982, New Jersey's Overkill were a rock-solid part of the first clutch of bands forging in fire this music known as thrash metal. Along with Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and cross-town doppelgangers Anthrax, D.D. Verni and Bobby Blitz Ellsworth were helping to create a new form of metal that is still as vibrant today as when the band's first album, Feel the Fire was issued by Jonny Zazula's Megaforce Records back in the spring of '85.

    Witness Overkill's 18th album of blistering yet precise and thought-provoking thrash magic, The Grinding Wheel, a record on which thrash's ultimate team of five machined parts shows up and executes to perfection with a little punk thrown in for bad measure.

    But a life dedicated to metal can be a grind, hence the title of this sparks-a-flyin' record. It just makes sense for us, reflects D.D. If you've been making metal for almost 40 years like we have, it can be a grind. But we also liked the old school metal idea of referencing Grinder, the Judas Priest song, which suits the album because it has classic metal parts on it as well as the thrash parts. There's a blue collar feel to that title too, and that's how we approach Overkill. The guitar case is basically a lunchbox and we go to work.

    One of the principles-if not characteristics-of the band is that it's been grinding through for long, long periods of time, seconds Blitz. Decades to this point. And not necessarily with huge gains with regards to popularity, but for sure, with huge gains in as much as we can earn a living while doing the kind of music that we want. And so the idea of grinding it out over the decades became a device for writing the album, whether it would be riffs or lyrics.

    Despite, as D.D. says, the album's classic metal references (such as Black Sabbath in Come Heavy and Iron Maiden in The Long Road and the epic and cinematic title track), when the band gets up a full head of thrash steam, they bring to the party a trademark punk aesthetic, forged from trips on the train to CBGB and Max's Kansas City to witness original punk legends such as The Damned and The Dead Boys.

    Punk is huge for Overkill, confirms Verni. And it's something we very specifically brought back to the band in a sort of second wave, beginning with Ironbound in 2010 and then The Electric Age and White Devil Armory. I know from my end, it came from talking to the band and talking to fans. We had some of those metal records in the middle of our career where I wasn't paying enough attention to the punk rock vibe of the band. But just before we started writing Ironbound, I was very specific about getting back into that mentality, picking up on that energy again. You're not going to hear any Green Day or Ramones in us, but the energy and the attitude of punk mixed with the New York vibe that's what Overkill is, compared to other bands. You don't hear any of that in Megadeth; you don't hear any of that in Slayer. It's more specific to what we brought to the thrash world.

    Central to that premise is the incendiary Let's All Go to Hades which is sure to become a pit favourite. This one was a hell of a lot of fun, says Blitz. You know, I've always written abstractly. I'm not the guy who says, 'I'm going to crush your skull into dust.' I like writing more so from an abstract point of view, putting a slew of thoughts together that create one idea, like a puzzle more than a specific black or white. And when I looked at all these lyrics when I was done, I said, oh my God, I'm 57 and I finally matured (laughs). Oh, this is gross! (laughs). But I do like tongue-in-cheek songs like 'Hades,' where it says, sort of let's all go to the Bataclan, you know, stand arm in arm and sing 'Killed by Death.' I kind of tied in not long ago events, specifically what happened in Paris, with losing Lemmy. After that, I'm on a train from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient express, which actually existed (laughs)-it actually went from Paris to Istanbul. So that one is mapped out a bit more.

    Adds D.D., It's not a 'smash your face into the wall' kind of song. It got a little bit of fun in it. I know any time you talk to the really heavy thrash guys, they go, 'Oh, no, no, no-no fun allowed. It's got to be heavy and brutal every second.' But that song definitely has a bit of fun in it. And we've done that before, with things like 'Old School' and 'Fuck You.' We're not afraid to do a bit of that sometimes.

    Another favorite lyric of Blitz', which is set to a non-nonsense old school thrash track, is Our Finest Hour. It's about the recognition of sameness, explains Ellsworth. I think people are comfortable when they recognize themselves in someone else. And 'Our Finest Hour' is kind of a detailed journey through that concept. It's like, 'Come on over here; I recognize you.' I've always been a firm believer in the fact that it's great to accomplish things on your own, but people are always stronger as a group-that's the basic outline of that tune.

    At the other end of the spectrum from punk is a song like The Long Road. D.D. readily agrees that there was a Maiden influence as part of this one's crafting. Oh yeah, for sure. The opening, along with a little section in there with the vocals, definitely feels like New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

    More evident in the band's panoramic classic metal passages, but even articulated here on Our Finest Hour, is another storied Overkill trademark, the definition one gets in the band's bass parts. Combine this with the Mensa-like percussive wizardry of Ron Lipnicki (laid bare for all to hear at headphone levels through the smack of his gravity-defying double bass work), and The Grinding Wheel emerges as a record with a remarkable rhythm section foundation from which to rise.

    I've had that kind of sound now for a long time, says Verni. There are a lot of bass players that say, 'I want to feel the bass.' And it's like, I just couldn't give a shit about feeling the bass. To me that's low-end. Guitars have low-end, kick drums have low-end, bass has low-end-I want to hear the bass, not feel it. So from a long time ago, that's what I would be doing on my EQ. I would be tweaking and turning knobs until not only could I feel it, but I can hear it separate from the guitars. And as a result, the bass just got more and more aggressive. I'm not a finesse player at all, on a bass. I bang the shit out of it, and I kind of do that to get away from the guitars and give it its own identity, its own sound, its own thing, so the bass has its own personality, not just serving as a foundation for the guitars.

    This affects the writing as well, says Blitz. Don't forget, D.D. is a guitarist. He's been playing guitar probably more so than bass in his spare time since the late '80s. This is a guy who has two-and-a-half decades of six strings under his belt. So we get more of a unique perspective; it gives this band its unique qualities when it comes to songwriting. Because it's a guy holding six strings who's got plenty of experience playing those six strings, but thinking from the other perspective. So you get a punchier thing; you don't get a lot of fluff. When you compare Overkill to some of our contemporaries, there you get a guitar player writing guitar-based songs. D.D. is writing, first and foremost, from a rhythm perspective, and that's what drives the songs. Add Dave Linsk to the picture, once there's a ten-note riff written, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Which brings us back to the aforementioned machine-like efficiency of the five guys that comprise Overkill, this idea that there are no weak links within this particular classic five-piece with two guitars lineup of metal warriors.

    That's the strength of the band, explains Blitz. Dave is really the one that holds the guitar reigns in this band. He's a writer at his core. You know, he's one of these guys who brushes his teeth and hears a rhythm the way the bristles are hitting the enamel (laughs). He's that dude. 'Oh wait a second, I have another idea.' He has an idea a minute, and if that's the case, some of them are going to be great. So he holds the reins. When it comes to Derek, he's more the opinionated thought later on. And so when it runs through the machine, being D.D. and myself, then Dave, Derek comes in and can change that song. It's always kind of good to have, let's say, a chief and some Indians. And it depends who's wearing the chief hat at any particular time. But I think at the end of the day, when you're looking for a clean perspective, it goes through Derek-that's usually what his contribution is, more of a finalization.

    And Ron? He's one-of-a-kind, says Verni. He's a great drummer. I've worked with him for a bunch of records now. This is our fifth record together and so I really understand how he plays at this point. Working with him in the studio is just a pleasure, because he's so right on it.

    After heaping all manner of praise on legendary producer Andy Sneap (brought on only for mix given Verni's proven acumen at the task), D.D. further clarifies the reason Overkill can be at the top of their game 18 records into their distinguished run.

    I have a studio and I did most of it at my place; I've been doing it that way for a while now. And now the group of guys we have in the band has been pretty consistent for a while. So we have a nice mix; everybody kind of knows their role, and is good at their role. Everybody brings a little something to the party. And I think that's why these last couple of records people ask, 'How is it that your records get better after 25 years?' And I think part of it is that everybody has a role in the band, everybody is comfortable with their role, and they're really good at the part they have. So the records actually get better. It's like having a team, instead of having a whole bunch of chiefs and no Indians.

    But a proven people's band like Overkill-a more personable bunch you'll never meet-fully recognizes that part of the band's success in being able to survive and thrive with the grind is due to the allegiance of the band's considerable worldwide fan base.

    For sure, says Blitz. One of the things with regard to grind, with regard to four decades of Overkill, it's good to be here, but it's obviously earned, not just by us but by the people that support this in general. The fact is that it's not just us grinding it out. I mean, maybe it is when it comes to the studio and writing and recording songs, from that selfish perspective. But the reason something exists for decades is based on group effort. Like we had talked about earlier with 'Our Finest Hour,' people are stronger together. In that light, this band is, let's say, not just our project, but it's a project by and for all those who hold it dear.

    1. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
    2. Goddamn Trouble
    3. Our Finest Hour
    4. Shine On
    5. The Long Road
    6. Let's All Go To Hades
    7. Come Heavy
    8. Red, White And Blue
    9. The Wheel
    10. The Grinding Wheel
    11. Emerald
    Overkill
    $31.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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