Overkill is a thrash metal band that was formed in New Jersey in 1980. The only constant members of the band have been the lead vocalist, Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth, and the bassist, D.D. Verni. The other members of the band have changed many times over the years. As they are one of the most successful thrash metal bands on the East Coast, many people describe Overkill as the Motorhead of thrash metal. Since the group was founded, they have released 19 studio albums, three live albums, a demo tape, two Eps, and an album of cover songs. Here are the 10 best Overkill albums ranked.
10. White Devil Armory (2014)
‘White Devil Armory’ received praise from critics following its release in 2014. One of the strengths of the album, which is the group’s 17th studio album, is the bass work of Verni. It was the band’s most successful album in terms of chart position, as it peaked at number 31 on the Billboard 200. The album won the 2014 Metal Storm Award for Best Thrash Metal Album.
9. Under the Influence (1988)
Drummer Sid Falck, who had replaced Rat Skates, featured for the first time on ‘Under the Influence.’ It is Overkill’s third studio album, released in 1988. There are nine tracks on the album, and the best songs are ‘Overkill III (Under the Influence),’ ‘Hello from the Gutter,’ ‘Never Say Never,’ and ‘Shred.’ To promote the album, Overkill toured for six months alongside other thrash metal bands, including testament, Destruction, M.O.D., and Nuclear Assault. The album sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide.
8. Killbox 13 (2003)
Discogs says that ‘Killbox 13’ is the 12th full-length studio album by Overkill. However, the band considers their 13th album, including the Overkill EP, and this is how the album got its name. The reason this album was so popular with fans is that the band reverted to their original, unpolished thrash style that they had veered away from since their debut album. There are ten tracks on the album, starting with ‘Devil by the Tail’ and closing with ‘I Rise.’
7. The Electric Age (2012)
Released in 2012, ‘The Electric Age’ is Overkill’s 16th studio album. It was the first of the band’s albums to make it into the top 100 of the Billboard 200, peaking at number 77. All ten tracks on the album were written by Verni and Ellsworth. A year after the album’s release, Overkill released a deluxe edition that had four bonus tracks that were recorded live.
6. Feel the Fire (1985)
‘Feel the Fire’ was Overkill’s debut album, released in 1985. While it was their first album, it remains one of the best examples of Overkill’s musical style. It was the band’s introduction to fans of thrash metal, and it was well-received, both by fans and by music critics. It is thanks to this album that Overkill established a solid fanbase in the mid-80s.
5. Ironbound (2010)
‘Ironbound’ was released in 2010, and it is the 15th studio album by the group. Prior to this album, Overkill had not released an album for two years. It was their first album to chart on the Billboard 200 for more than 17 years. Within weeks of the album’s release, it had sold over 15,000 copies. Following a decline in popularity of Overkill’s music, many people considered ‘Ironbound’ their comeback album.
4. The Wings of War (2019)
Overkill’s most recent album is ‘The Wings of War,’ which was released in 2019. Not only is it the band’s most recent work, but it is also some of their best. It is their 19th studio album and the first to feature drummer Jason Bittner. Music critics remarked that the album was surprisingly good for a thrash metal band that had been going for almost 40 years. Although the critical reception of the album was fantastic, the commercial success of the album was disappointing compared to the previous three albums released by Overkill. Nonetheless, the album was number three on the US Independent Albums chart, and it did well in several European countries.
3. Horrorscope (1991)
In 1991, Overkill released their third studio album, ‘Horrorscope.’ One of the notable features of this album is that it was the first to feature both Merritt Gant and Rob Cannavino as guitarists. It was also the first album the band released after founding guitarist and lead songwriter Bobby Gustafson left. Fans were concerned that Overkill’s music would suffer following Gustafson’s departure, but their concerns were proved unfounded by the release of this album.
2. Taking Over (1987)
‘Taking Over’ was Overkill’s second studio album, and it was the last to feature drummer Rat Skates before he was replaced by Sid Falck. It was Overkill’s first album to chart on the Billboard 200, and it remained on the chart for a week. The album drew the attention of critics and also attracted more fans. One of the best tracks on the album is ‘Wrecking Crew,’ which has become one of the band’s signature songs, and they play it at almost all their shows.
1. The Years of Decay (1989)
According to Loudwire, the best Overkill album was their 1989 album ‘The years of Decay.’ It was the band’s fourth studio album, and it was the last album to include guitarist Bobby Gustafson, as he left shortly after the album’s release following a feud with several other band members. Compared to their previous albums, ‘The Years of Decay’ was more progressive and diverse. There are nine tracks on the album, including the title track and ‘Time to Kill.’