New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL are scheduled to enter the studio in early May to begin recording their 18th album for a tentative October 28 release via Nuclear Blast. Eleven songs have been written and demoed so far for the follow-up to 2014's "White Devil Armory", which sold around 8,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 31 on The Billboard 200 chart.
In an interview with Metaleater's Tony Antunovich, OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth said about the band's upcoming CD (hear audio below): "We're fully demoed at this point. We're talking eleven songs right now that I'm holding. It should be a few more after this. We're usually ten flat when we release a record. There may be a bonus track or two. But they're fully demoed. We're scheduling drums for right after a European tour that's coming up. We leave the end of March and come back towards the end of April."
Ellsworth also talked about OVERKILL's plans to professionally film and record the band's special anniversary show at Turbinenhalle 2 in Oberhausen, Germany on April 16. The evening will see the group will play the records "Horrorscope" (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary) and "Feel The Fire" (30th anniversary) in their entirety.
"We're gonna do a DVD in Germany, record two records for live release during this tour," he said. "We're gonna be doing a record called 'Horrorscope' and our first record, 'Feel The Fire'. We're gonna do it in DVD format, in download format, in CD and vinyl, etc. etc."
He added: "We're gonna come out, we're gonna do 'Horrorscope', and then we're gonna take fifteen minutes to realize how old we are and talk about whether we can actually do the second half of the show. [Laughs] We're gonna start downing Red Bulls and vodka, and then shoot back out to the stage after a ten- or fifteen-minute interlude where we're gonna have some videos playing of the band while they recorded the 'Horrorscope' record, and then go out and do 'Feel The Fire' in its entirety. So it's quite a unique night. And we're not doing it the entire tour; we're doing it at one show. So we thought it was kind of unique to do that."
Regarding how the idea to perform the two albums in their entirety came about, Ellsworth said: "It was something that we came up as an idea with the record company, Nuclear [Blast], and they were all over it. They said, 'Wow, what a great idea! It's not an entire tour. It's one night. It makes it special. Let's film it.' And we were, like, 'That's exactly what we wanted to hear from you guys.' So that's where we are with this."
According to the singer, the fact that OVERKILL will be touring while finalizing the songs for its upcoming album will be beneficial when it comes to capturing the explosive nature of the band's performances in the studio environment. He said: "For me, it's kind of cool to go out and be doing live shows as the record is taking form, because it translates into the writing. You know, when you're doing shows and then you're finishing shows off — my end of the songs, which are the melodies and the lyrics — I can kind of infuse that natural energy into it, if I was just most recently on stage. It's not feigned then; it's my last memory of the band, and I really try to live in the present and the near past. So I really look forward to touring while writing."
Ellsworth told SkullsNBones.com last fall about OVERKILL's upcoming album: "I can't tell you it's gonna be the best thing since canned beer or sliced bread; it's just gonna be OVERKILL."
OVERKILL's first worldwide release on Nuclear Blast was a special box set comprised of the band's back catalog, made available last September. Titled "Historikill: 1995 - 2007", it contains 11 OVERKILL albums on 13 CDs and a bonus CD (containing demos, remixes and an unreleased cover song) in digi sleeves.
"White Devil Armory" was released on July 22, 2014 in North America via eOne Music and on July 18, 2014 in Europe through Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was tracked at Gear Recording and was mixed by Greg Reely, who also worked on 2012's "The Electric Age".