OVERKILL’s “The Years Of Decay” is more than just a Thrash album. In as troubling a time as contemporary society this definitive album stands as an echelon ready to usher in a golden age upon a decaying society. “The Years Of Decay” are the years prior to 1980, before this privileged world would be gutted by the intensity of the epitome of consistency. These countless years prior to 1980 would thus forward be dubbed BO; Before OVERKILL. The year 1980 to the present day and all days that will thus arrive is to be dubbed, AO; After (and including) OVERKILL. This is the ongoing story of a group of living legends, who in 1989 would unleash upon us the most intense album since SPINAL TAP’s “Smell The Glove.” Oh what a wonderful year 1989 AO was.
“Time To Kill!”
OVERKILL may have come to shred on “Under The Influence” but with “The Years Of Decay” they have come to crush, hate, eliminate and KILL! Rarely have my ears been set upon by such epic Thrash and the gallery of riffery presented in this album. Every single piece falls into place in this album. Blitz’s vocals are on as always and he has not made any attempts to alter in order to please those too masculine to put up with any voice higher pitched than Chris Barnes. The drums are rock solid, although they can sometimes fall to the wayside due to the over-the-top mind-blowing riffs courtesy of Gustafson. D.D. Verni is here to rock as well and will not settle for keeping content in the background with his bass. When you combine all these elements with an excellent production job that allows each instrument to breathe you embark on an epic voyage carried by the waves of intensity of the leviathan behind this outing.
“Eliminate your feelings, Eliminate too late, Eliminate the hope, Eliminate Eliminate!”
This release seeks to pummel us into submission by an ingenious mixture of all out thrash with speeds sick enough to make your Ferrari reconsider its day job as well as tempo control which accents longer thoughtful sections containing heavy as hell riffs. Gustafson’s excellent leads/solos are the umbilical cord keeping this baby alive and keep your eyes wide open and rolling as your head violently throttles back and forth. Intermingling in the compositions are old-school catchy as hell choruses of the beautiful sort in which your throat becomes sore after many hours of screaming along. Every single track is the stuff legends are made of, although OVERKILL do hit us with something altogether unpredictable and new. Take a listen to the zealously dark “Playing With Spiders/Skullkrusher”. This epic cut features slow earth-shaking riffs which possess an entity of heaviness massive enough to melt a box full of kittens 8 miles away. Your impending doom is only cast aside as a mid-paced riff cuts into the mix threatening to sever your head and plant it atop a pike (Your skull won’t have sick wings like the one on the album cover though). It is also worth mentioning the fist in the jaw that is “E.vil N.ever D.ies”. This beautiful number is the best song OVERKILL has written period.
This is my shortest review yet, which merely testifies to the integrity and strength of “The Years Of Decay”. Despite the fact that evil will never die, if you wish to die in bliss, you will own this album. Energy is seeping from this disk. This is Thrash. This is pure Metal. Music like this is what makes the ability to hear truly great. (Online May 17, 2005)