Concert review: Overkill

The Orpheum, Tampa, FL – September 13, 2014

Overkill is among the great craft breweries, so to speak, in the entire heavy metal genre. Think about it. Its music is singular, memorable, and tasty, and fills a niche no one else is quite able to. Its fans are brand loyal and highly devoted. The band does lack mainstream press and wide acclaim, but is able to compete in the marketplace, more or less under its own rules. Overkill has been making its peculiar brand of sardonic, high energy thrash metal for over thirty years now. In that time, it has muscled into the overall conversation on its own merits – equal parts quality and tenacity, with a healthy chaser of Jersey attitude – yet, compared to thrash’s long-established “Big Four” – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax – the band is still relatively unsung. Through all those years, however – as Metallica famously sold out, cut its collective hair and eventually morphed into the metal version of the Walt Disney Co., as Slayer replaced its early peaks with foothills and mid-period plateaus with valleys, as Megadeth turned into some weird sideshow for which sustained musical excellence was the exception rather than the norm, and as Anthrax struggled variously to find its footing and reclaim its identity, or build any sort of new millennium momentum – Overkill has been constant, a steady, dependable, often outstanding force for metal good and an enduring DIY success story. Continue reading “Concert review: Overkill”