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Overkill/ Nile/ Amorphis

Date: 3/11/17
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
Report By: Rich Catino


The inclusion of Amorphis on the NJ show was a welcomed addition, and would have been a much more suited support for Overkill instead Nile’s brand of death metal. Amorphis’ take on that genre, with progressive tendencies and death metal vocals, balance the music out with a melodic voice. See the verses, bridge, and chorus on ‘Death Of A King’. Yet, not unlike Nile, Amorphis do have songs that are pure melodic Scandinavian death metal in early tracks like ‘Into Hiding’ from their 1994 album “Tales from the Thousand Lakes”. Similarly, they also include some of those middle eastern sounds as well with the use of guitar and keyboard, and aggressive rhythms, but not as brutal. Amorphis offer more variety and dynamics in composition, and tunefulness (’Silver Bride’). Nile were just too much in a slot right before Overkill. Pounding technical death metal with guttural vocals just doesn’t gel and it became repetitive. After a few songs you could tell the crowd had enough.
With over 30 years in the business, and “The Grinding Wheel” the 18th album, Overkill are clearly thrash metal legends. Never changing to fit in with the times, always evolving within their style, yet staying true to their roots. Singer Bobby Blitz Ellsworth and bassist DD Verni are the lone original members, yet Dave Linsk (1999–) and Derek Tailer (2002-) are the longest running guitar tandem. Drum tech Eddy Garcia is currently on drums. With the latest album its business as usual, as ‘Mean, Green, Killing Machine’ from said album kicked off the night with the stage bathed in Overkill green lights. Flip flopping between old and new tunes, and a trilogy of dusted off classics (‘Feel the Fire’, ‘Nice Day... For a Funeral’, ‘Infectious’), Blitz often spoke to his native Jersey metalheads as if to playing in someone’s backyard in 1987. One of the few times they include two covers, for this tour is the twin guitars of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Emerald’, a bonus track on the new album. The band remains energetic on stage with a great rapport with the crowd. Hell, they don’t care what you say, Fuck you!

Overkill setlist:
Mean, Green, Killing Machine
Rotten to the Core
Electric Rattlesnake
Hello From the Gutter
Goddamn Trouble
Feel the Fire
Nice Day... For a Funeral
Emerald (Thin Lizzy cover)
Fuck You


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