Late this past May, veteran thrash metal band Overkill unleashed its latest live recording, Live in Overhausen, to the masses. The recording, presented in a Blu-ray/CD combo pack platform, is not the band’s first live recording by any means. In fact, it is the New Jersey-based band’s fourth live recording. Wrecking Everything – An Evening in Asbury Park was released separately on CD and on DVD in 2002 while the band’s first ever live recording Wrecking Your Neck was released in 1995. Live at Wacken Open Air 2007 would go on to be released in 2008. Now, audiences have this latest live offering from the band, and it proves to be another positive addition to the band’s live catalog. That is proven in large part through the recording’s set list, which will be addressed shortly. The
recording’s audio mix is somewhat problematic, sadly. This cannot be ignored. Luckily, as problematic as they are, they are not enough to make the recording completely unwatchable. This will be discussed a little bit later. Keeping that in mind, it is the recording’s only negative. The band’s performance of the extensive set list rounds out its most important elements. Each element is critical in its own way to the overall presentation of Live in Overhausen. All things considered, they make this recording another welcome addition to any Overkill fan’s music library even despite the audio issues.
Overkill’s latest live recording Live in Overhausen, released just this past May, is not the veteran New Jersey-based thrash metal outfit’s first-ever live recording. It is however, unarguably, a welcome addition to the music library of any of the band’s fans. That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list. The set list presents the band performing not one, but two of its classic albums – Feel The Fire, its debut 1985 record, and 1991’s Horrorscope – in their entirety. This is not the first time that any band has used a live performance to present a studio album in whole, and not the first time this year, either. However, getting two albums in their entirety takes things up another notch. What makes this so important is that in a weird way, it actually saves audiences who might not already own those two classic Overkill albums the time and strain of trying to find those albums, and instead not only presents them here, but in a live setting. It’s really a way of sweetening the proverbial pot so to speak while presenting two key moments in the band’s life. It’s a more than 110-minute experience that audiences across the board will enjoy if only for the set list. Staying on the matter of the set list, audiences will note that the recording’s CD presentation comes sans the interview segments included in the Blu-ray presentation. That might not necessarily be a bad thing because those segments included in the recording’s Blu-ray presentation present the recording’s one negative, its audio.
As the concert progresses on its course on the Blu-ray presentation, the audio finds itself constantly rising and falling throughout. In other words, audiences will find themselves holding their remotes in hand, finger (or thumb) on the volume button ready to adjust the volume. This is the same issues that so negatively affected Styx front man Tommy Shaw’s latest live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment, too. It really serves to show that while audio mixes are so often overlooked in the importance of live recording’s they are far more important than one might think. Getting back on track, considering that audiences get the same set list on the recording’s 2CD presentation as on the Blu-ray presentation of Overkill’s, one can’t help but wonder why if the audio on the recording’s CD was so well-balanced, such attention was not paid to the audio’s balance on the audio-visual presentation that included the interview segments. Again, while definitely an annoyance in the viewing experience, it is not such that it makes the recording unwatchable. Of course, hopefully those behind the recording’s production – both on site and in the post production process – will take into account this element for the band’s next live recording. The interviews are positive additions to the recording, but because their volume is at a different level from the main feature, maybe they would have been better served as bonus material. Again, it’s something for future consideration. Keeping this in mind, the variations in the recording’s audio, while not debilitating for the recording, it does not make the recording unwatchable. To that end, the recording still has one more positive to note. That last positive is the band’s performance of its extensive set list.
Overkill has been making music and entertaining audiences around the world for nearly 40 years. That’s a long time for any band. Yet for as many years as this high-intensity act has been at it, a performance such as this shows that the band has no plans to slow down any time soon. Front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth commands the stage with the same power as any of his younger counterparts throughout the show. This is especially evident early on between ‘Blood Money’ and ‘Thanx For Nothin’’as he tells the crowd, “I’m in f****** charge tonight because I say so!” That’s a pretty telling statement about his own presence. That energy is just as high throughout the rest of the show, too. Simply put, even as old as Ellsworth is, his presence is that of a much younger man, in turn making for plenty of entertainment. His band mates – guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Taylor — shred their way through ‘Live Young, Die Free,’ ‘There’s No Tomorrow,’ ‘Hammerhead’ and the rest of the recording’s extensive 21-song set. Meanwhile, bassist D.D. Verni and drummer Jason Bittner solidly hold each song’s rhythm and time together, putting the finishing touch to each performance. Overall, what audiences get in the band’s performance from start to end is a high-energy performance that rivals anything that the band’s younger counterparts put on today, proving that the veteran thrash outfit still has plenty in the tank. With any luck it still will for at least the foreseeable future, as the world needs bands such as Overkill, who can continue to put on such engaging and entertaining performances. When the power noted here in the band’s performance is coupled with the extensive two-album, 21-song set, they give audiences more than enough reason for fans to add this recording to their music libraries. That is even with the issues raised by the audio variances between the concert and interview segments.
Overkill’s new live recording Live in Overhausen is a welcome addition to the home music library of any Overkill fan. That is due in no small part to a two-album, 21-song set list that takes audiences back to the band’s early days in its debut album and another key moment in its 1991 album Horrorscope. The band’s performance of those two album in this setting presents Overkill as a band that still has plenty left in the proverbial tank; a band that can rival any of its current younger metal counterparts on the stage. While both elements do plenty to the positive for the recording, one still can’t ignore the audio issue in the interview segments and main concert feature. The lack of balance there is problematic, but still not enough to make it unwatchable. Hopefully this will be taken into account in the band’s future live recordings so that it doesn’t become an issue again. To that end, the positive overall effect of the recording’s set and the band’s performance thereof makes this recording a presentation that while not perfect, is still a welcome addition to any Overkill fan’s music library. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Live in Overhausen is available online now along with all of Overkill’s latest news and more at:
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