Still fresh from signing to Bodog Music (does the surname Zazula ring a bell?), East Coast thrash icons OVERKILL cracked the world upside its collective head with another no-frills metal album in 2007's "Immortalis", and follow up with this early 2008 DVD release, "Live at Wacken Open Air 2007". Watching the 70,000 rabid metal heads banging along with the veterans makes one lament that U.S. audiences do not show support in the same massive numbers when OVERKILL comes to town. Not that the quintet doesn't count a legion of diehards in its Stateside ranks, but let's face it, European fans knew what it was all about back in the day and still get their asses out of the house to support one of the world's greatest thrash bands.
"Live at Wacken Open Air 2007" is not clogged with extras and bonus material. It simply represents OVERKILL at its best with a 10-song, 50-minute set that any self-respecting fan should rush out and purchase. Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth still offers his distinct snarl with every bit of energy that defined his earliest work with the band. His relationship with the crowd, as evidenced by the stage banter throughout the performance, is second to none. The song selection is an interesting one too. In addition to classic tracks like "Necroshine", "Fuck You", "Rotten to the Core", "Wrecking Crew", and "In Union we Stand", a couple of tracks from 2007's "Immortalis" ("Skull and Bones" and "Walk Through Fire") and punked up anthem "Old School" from 2005's "RelixIV" are torn through with all the vengeance of the oldies. And that's the beauty of OVERKILL; they've never abandoned the blue-collar thrash for which they're known. Every time you hear a riff (including that oh so important tone), no matter the era, and Carlo "D.D". Verni's prominent bass lines, it is unmistakably OVERKILL.
A killer sound mix and solid visuals are but the icing on the cake. You would be hard pressed to find a better representation of a thrash band staying true to its roots. Too hot too handle and always entertaining in a live setting, OVERKILL continues to deliver the goods and please thrash heads across the globe. Much like the group's music, "Live at Wacken Open Air 2007" gets straight to the point without bogging down in unnecessary filler. Still, it would have been nice to have some interview footage, which would have made the disc more appealing, but it's difficult to downgrade such a great performance too much because of the lack of extras. Still highly recommended.