THE GRINDING WHEEL
There are very few constants in the world of heavy metal like Overkill. They are, quite literally, a band that for over 30 years now you can purchase something new from, sight unseen, and KNOW it’s going to be excellent. There’s a part of me that feels like I could just dig up any review I’ve ever written on any of their releases, change the names of the songs, put it up as new and have it be deadly accurate. That’s the level of consistency Overkill has had. Nothing has affected it. Not age. Not lineup changes. Not success or lack thereof...absolutely NOTHING. THE GRINDING WHEEL is Overkill...period.
Being fair to THE GRINDING WHEEL, there is a difference to this release from their last release WHITE DEVIL ARMORY. .It’s better. Not by a lot, mind you, but it is a better release. These songs are ferocious. That’s about the only way you can put it. Songs like “Goddamn Trouble” and “Our Finest Hour” rip through your skull like a runaway race car through a BLM street blocking protest. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth is a force on THE GRINDING WHEEL (as he always is). His rage throughout carries much of the awesome material provided. “Mean Green Killing Machine” is quintessential Blitz; an outpouring of intensity where you can almost hear the spit coming from his mouth. While Blitz drives the ship, the guitar work of Dave Linsk and Derick “The Skull” Tailer drive it home. These riffs are searing to your soul.
PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - When Overkill puts out a new release, you can pencil it into the top 5 for that year like clockwork. THE GRINDING WHEEL is an amazing release. Combined with the Kreator and the Sepultura releases, heavy music has opened 2017 with the bang of a megaton bomb. THE GRINDING WHEEL is awesome. You WILL see it near the top of most end of year countdowns in 12 months.