Home > Music > Overkill – Taking Over (1987)

Overkill – Taking Over (1987)

Yes, it’s that band. The one that’s been plugging away for 30 years. The one that is popular in dedicated metalhead circles, but the majority of the population hasn’t heard of because they’re too busy listening to Lady Gaga. The thing about this album is that it’s a grower – in contrast to the instant appeal of something like “The Years of Decay”, this one requires some rifflust and an appreciation of the thrash style to get anything out of it.

Anyways, this is overtly NWOBHM influenced and seems to contain a few nods towards what would become power metal. It’s not a “Walls of Jericho”, much less a “Nightfall in Middle Earth”, but some of the songs (Fear His Name, Deny the Cross, Overkill Part II) stretch out a bit, write more melodic, “epic” stuff. Not in the contemporary sense where it’s used as an exclamation or compliment, because this actually sounds heroic at times. Then again, most of this album was written before 1985 or so, in a period when most of the speed/thrash stuff WAS only a step or two removed from Venom, Diamond Head, the Tygers of Pan Tang, and the rest of your favorite British bands. Many of the other songs written around the time made their way onto Overkill’s formal debut, Feel the Fire.

The “epic” tendencies on display were nothing new in thrash metal. Metallica had become popular overnight due to Master of Puppets (although the thrashiness of that album is very debatable), and founding fathers Black Sabbath and Judas Priest had experimented with extended songwriting at times. Still, mixing the high end thrash with the epic flourishes adds some character to this album, makes it stand out. I’d say that the band’s benefited from these ideas – after all, it’s relatively hard to write longer songs and keep a listener’s interest, as well as create something coherent.

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