Veteran New Jersey thrashers OVERKILL will enter the studio in the next few weeks to begin recording the follow-up to 2017's "The Grinding Wheel" album. The disc will mark the band's recording debut with drummer Jason Bittner (SHADOWS FALL, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), who joined OVERKILL last year.
OVERKILL singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth told Brian Aberback of Patch.com about the musical direction of the band's new material: "What I notice about it is that there are parts of it that delve into really classic heavy metal that are spawned off the riff. There's kind of a brutal metal riff and then there's a heavy metal riff. The brutal riff being more in the modern sense of OVERKILL but the classic riff goes back into the feel of 'Feel The Fire', 'Taking Over', 'The Years Of Decay' kind of influence.
"I think what we're doing is staying with that classic riff but adding the brutality after," he continued. "So it has the vibe of classic heavy metal with that spawned aggression off of it. Obviously, we're not going to be progressive or off the tracks with where we're going. It's OVERKILL. But the internal end of that is really exciting because we notice every little different nuance in it. So I think it's going to be interesting."
Asked what Jason has brought to the band, Ellsworth said: "He's put a lot of work into the album and his excitement has spread to all of us. He's the first person in this band who's deeply, technically trained. That's one of the most exciting things about this project. This guy is pretty close to a virtuoso when hitting the skins."
Ellsworth recently told The Metal Voice that OVERKILL has yet to nail down a producer for the upcoming effort. "We're in between right now," he said. "Things have changed. We already had somebody locked down, but we're not a hundred percent sure he can do it, so I'd really rather not say. We're just talking to three or four other cats. I'll tell you this: we wanted to use Andy Sneap; we thought he did a fantastic job on 'The Grinding Wheel'. But he has other commitments right now. He's filling in [for guitarist Glenn Tipton] on the [JUDAS] PRIEST tour."
OVERKILL's next album is tentatively scheduled to arrive in February 2019, with a world tour set to kick off in March.
The band will release the "Live In Overhausen" DVD and Blu-Ray on May 18 via Nuclear Blast. The set was recorded two years ago in Oberhausen, Germany, where OVERKILL celebrated the 25th anniversary of "Horrorscope" and 30th anniversary of "Feel The Fire" by performing both albums in their entirety.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral