Overkill @ Islington Academy 7/10/2012

Sometimes a gig can be such a legendary night for both band and brothers that it seems silly not to make it an annual tradition. This is the fourth Killfest New Jersey legends Overkill have hosted and despite a slightly less thrash-orientated line up than previous years, the Blitz brigade are still out in full force for a Sunday night show clashing with Voivod across town.

Killfest serves up a starter from Sweden in the form of melo-thrashers Degradead. The crowd is gradually swelling in the venue but the band lack an energy that would be worth leaving the bar for. Norway’s Purified in Blood manage to break the ice with a much livelier approach and although the band have a past of being thrown into the “core” corner, tonight’s performance is fuelled with aggression – with tracks from the latest ‘Flight of a Dying Sun’ sounding particularly promising – while frontman Hallgeir literally throws himself into the set with the crowd meeting him in the pit.

Canadian’s 3 Inches Of Blood are met with an almost full floor as the more known support act, and their old-school approach to heavy metal appeals to the mature members of the audience. Cam Pipe’ pipes are on top form as usual tonight, with his power metal shrieks being heard from the merch stand, whilst the rest of the band practise what they preach, and in the words of their 2012 release; long live heavy metal.

As thrash veterans Overkill enter the spotlight, the crowd erupts and despite the same venue and same name, Overkill keep their set list unpredictable for this year’s Killfest. With new album ‘The Electric Age’ already learnt religiously by fans, Bobby and co kick off the set with sheer intensity in the form of ‘Come And Get It’, ‘Electric Rattlesnake’ and ‘Bring Me The Night’. Thirty years in the business would tire many but Blitz is ever the iconic frontman, running back and forth from backstage like an excitable puppy, while the rest of the band are clearly enjoying themselves as much as everyone else. Mixing it up, the legends delve deep into their discography to play older rarities such as ‘Who Tends The Fire’, Thunderhead’ and ‘The Wait’, which lack tempo but ooze ferocity and an undeniable rock’n’roll vibe. The pit is continuous chaos as beer and bruises flourish and when the staple songs like ‘Rotten To The Core’ and ‘Elimination’ are unleashed, it’s understandable why. An encore of ‘Fuck You’ and ‘Powersurge’ completes a night of classic musicianship and stage ownership and the wave of middle fingers during ‘Fuck You’ seems apt as we all dread the reality of Monday morning.

 Review by Lily Randall

Published on Soundshock.com

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