OVERKILL - with 15 studio and a few live albums released by Overkill since their 1985 Feel The Fire debut, these Thrash Metal legends originating from New Jersey, have unleashed their newest Metal carnage among the masses… IRONBOUND. Released on February 9, 2010 on E1 Music, Ironbound could very well be Overkill’s finest album to date. Judging from the speed and thrashtastic riffage, leads and solo’s of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, frenetic drumming of Ron Lipnicki, empowering bass grooves from DD Verni and of course, the trademark, hardened and vicious vocals of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, to walk away from Ironbound feeling Thrash fulfilled is a Metal understatement. The two opening songs – “The Green And Black” and “Ironbound” are how Thrash Metal albums are supposed to begin… like decisive missile strikes and extremely Metal monumental.
“Ironbound” just sounds as if DD and “Blitz” decided to not just remind the world they are Thrash Metal originators and icons, they have also pronounced and engraved their loyalty to a genre they helped create. “The Green And Black” offers such a diverse song structure, with it’s near epic length of over 8 minutes. “Endless War” capitalizes on the combination of lyrical imagery, (a soldiers dread, suffering and anguish of dying) and blazingly brilliant, Thrash musicianship. The sinister acoustic intro to “The Goal Is Your Soul”, only accentuates the impending Thrash heaviness that is to follow. This song’s message can/may be interpreted: reap what you sow by your actions/words and knowing one can lose their soul to damnation and the dark unknown, despite life’s blessings being fulfilled or not. This is Overkill’s reality check… as only they can deliver it.
“The Head And Heart” is emblematic of what Overkill’s Thrash Metal makeup is all about. A dark lined intro that submerges your ears into the Thrash assault of heavy and fast grooves with the punctuated vocals of “Blitz” that come across with hellish and angst ridden conviction. The more times I delve my senses into Ironbound, the more I become convinced of Overkill’s allegiance to the foundation of Thrash Metal. Overkill reaches into their underground roots if you will, which is conveyed by them with dominance in their playing, energy, spirit, sound and feel of Ironbound.
Metal truth be told, this is probably the first Overkill album ever, where I have been highly enticed by deciphering the lyrics! This is not to say Overkill never possessed smart, entertaining or attention grabbing lyrics in their past albums. Ironbound just carries with it, an increased intellectual approach to it’s lyrical messages, in my Metal opinion. DD and “Blitz” seemed to turn it up a notch with their lyrics and song writing and this entire Overkill unit has obviously approached this Ironbound album with a type of new found Thrash epiphany.
Lyrical meanings aside, Ironbound is equal to or more explosive, heavy, fast and mean as any Thrash album in Overkill’s iconic catalog. If Overkill were ever be remembered as Metal martyrs, they would be for the Thrash Metal cause they have valiantly forged, with blue collar blood, sweat and muscle for over 25 years. Overkill carrying and waving the flag of Thrash Metal, spanning across decades, is not something I or countless others can ignore. This Overkill lineup has cast their finest album together, Ironbound is a new Overkill Thrash Metal classic, proving once again, this band has not abandoned the Thrash Metal cause, their fans or themselves.
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass, Backing Vocals
Derek “The Skull” Tailer – Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Dave Linsk – Lead and Rhythm Guitars