Riff Police! Pull Over! #124: Metallica Vs Overkill!

1983 saw Metallica arrive on the Bay area Thrash scene with “Kill ‘Em All“, an album critically praised at the time of its release which has since been declared groundbreaking to the World of Thrash Metal because of its New Wave of British Heavy Metal riffs delivered at Hardcore Punk tempo with precise musicianship. As pretty much everyone knows at this point, commercially the album had success twice, at the first time of asking it did well but in 1988 after the success of “Master of Puppets” it got re-issued and did better. Our cut of focus here is “Phantom Lord“, one of a trio that saw Dave Mustaine get a writing credit as he exited stage left to go on to form Megadeth with Kirk Hammett joining from Exodus to replace him…

…six years after Metallica’s debut record dropped, 1989 saw the fourth studio album “The Years of Decay” from New Jersey Thrash Metal band Overkill get released, ironically through Megaforce Records, the same label that released “Kill ‘Em All“. Produced by Terry Date (Pantera, White Zombie, Soundgarden) it spawned the single “Elimination” that got the band regular airplay on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. It is however opening cut “Time To Kill” that owes… a debut to “Phantom Lord“. Could that be why this was the last album from Overkill to feature guitarist Bobby Gustafson?

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