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The Years of Decay

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Editors’ Notes

Overkill’s 1989 LP The Years of Decay isn't just a classic in the realm of thrash—it’s a classic rock 'n' roll album, period. The band’s explosive delivery is perfectly aligned to the album’s intense production. Similarly, the vocals of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth are a perfect vehicle for the album’s themes of rage, violence, war, and aggression. While many of the era's metal singers regarded themselves with utter seriousness, there's a hint of playfulness in Ellsworth’s delivery that somehow makes the sentiments of “Time to Kill” and “I Hate” even more delectable. The album also shows the band’s appreciation for innovation. Overkill had more than two speeds. The throttling stop-start introduction in “Nothing to Die For” is just one example of its sense of dynamics. Meanwhile, the album's second half is lined with epic songs. The slow, prehistoric riffs of “Playing with Spiders/Skullkrusher” anticipate the burgeoning genre of doom metal, while the song's middle part climaxes in a cauldron of fury. By breaking every code of thrash orthodoxy, Years of Decay showed the genre the way to its future.

Customer Reviews

Ignore iTunes "Review"

Clearly the reviewer was either not born yet or not yet a metalhead when this album came out. As evidenced by not one single mention of Elimination as one of their most successful singles and a mandatory addition to Overkill's set-lists. Calling Skullkrusher a "Minor Highlight" alone is grounds for imediate confiscation of leather, spikes and manhood! If you can't acuire the taste for this masterpeice on the first sip, then you're drinking from the wrong metal cup, kid.

The reviewer is a moron!!!

I am so sick of itunes letting these idiots write reviews on music that they don't even get. It's like letting me review a christian gospel album by the Statler Brothers. Ridiculous. An aquired taste? Of course Overkill is an aquired taste just like the rest of all metal. If it was easily digestible then it would be pop music not metal. Metal is supposed to go down hard. It's not some fluffy umbrella drink with coconut rum and razmatazz. This album by Overkill is considered by many to be their finest hour. I don't think that it's their best effort but I still think that it's a classic. This was the beginning of the band really being competitive with the big boys (Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus) of the eighties and it was when they really seemed to find their groove. Crank this thing up to 11 and never trust an itunes review cause I have seen them so dead wrong that they were laughable.

Classic Thrash

Overkill is one of the masters of thrash metal. This record is a pure classic in Thrash. It is hard to pick which Overkill record is best. But this one ranks high on the list of their many releases. The highlights are Elimination, Skullkrusher, Who Tends the Fire, and Evil Never Dies. Skullkrusher has the perfect name for the music, such a great great song! 'Who Tends The Fire' has the best intro to a thrash song ever! I really wish Overkill would remaster all their early records. I would rebuy them all.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Old Bridge Township, NJ

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New Jersey thrash quartet Overkill were formed in 1980 by vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and guitarist Bobby Gustafson, and also included bassist D.D. Verni and drummer Rat Skates (later replaced by Sid Falck). The band garnered a reputation for brutal, pounding speed and technique, but lacked the musical diversity to compete with heavy hitters like Metallica; still, Overkill built up a strong following in the metal underground with albums like 1985's Taking Over and 1988's Under the Influence....
Full Bio
The Years of Decay, Overkill
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Oct 10, 1989

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