Overkill‘s 8th album, The Killing Kind, was released on 5th March, 1996.
The first Overkill album to feature Joe Comeau (Liege Lord/ ex-Annihilator) and Sebastian Marino (ex-Anvil) on vocals/guitar and guitar respectively, 1996’s The Killing Kind may have proved a considerable shock to those who had enjoyed the return to all-out thrash on 1994’s W.F.O!
Adopting a mid-paced sonic onslaught and steam-rolling the kind of groove metal that would serve them well for the next 4 years, the stoically solid likes of “Battle” and “God-Like“, alongside the classic Iron Maiden-esque opening of “The Cleansing” and the thrash frenzy of overall highlight “Feeding Frenzy”, proved irresistible if ears were open to this side shift in Overkill’s overall style!
An Overkill album that appears to divide opinion, The Killing Kind deserves to be lauded for its brave attempt to evolve and many of its considerable facets can be heard in Overkill’s material to this very day. It’s also worth remembering that, in the mid-90’s, thrash was virtually dead in the water and the groove heavy likes of Machine Head’s Burn My Eyes was the sound en vogue. After all, if groove metal was good enough for Sepultura (Roots), Forbidden (Distortion), Sacred Reich (Heal), Flotsam and Jetsam (Cuatro) and Testament (Low), then it was good enough for Overkill; a band who arguably harnessed the sound better then the majority of their peers!
The songs may be fairly straight-forward in construct – perhaps lacking the dynamite dynamics of earlier ‘thrashier’ offerings – but The Killing Kind has aged well and should appeal to those Overkill fans accustomed to the groovier elements of their back catalogue.
- Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – lead vocals
- D.D. Verni – bass, backing vocals
- Sebastian Marino – lead guitar
- Joe Comeau – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Tim Mallare – drums