OVERKILL: Wings Of War
Written by Charlie Renagade on February 12, 2019
About a year after the release of The Grinding Wheel, Overkill announced that they were in the studio working on demos for their nineteenth studio album. Two months later, Bittner announced on his Facebook page that they were “in pre-production” for the album, writing, “And were in pre-production this week…….been a while since I dusted the ‘ol Rolands off but we’re pressed for space…”
When asked in an April 2018 interview with Jimmy Kay of Canada’s The Metal Voice what fans could expect to hear from the album, frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth stated, “I think we caught a wave on the last four records. Part of that wave was Ron Lipnicki behind the drums, and Ron is now gone, so I don’t know what to expect. But the beauty of it is that when you’re inside the writing team, that’s what becomes motivational. Now, obviously, it’s gonna be a heavy metal record; we don’t deviate so much from our formula, but what is that record gonna sound like? At this point, it sounds like a metal record to me. I think Jason Bittner’s addition to the band is gonna make it bombastic in some cases; he’s the state of the art when it comes to hitting the skins. So I really think that we have an opportunity here to make something that is great. Who knows? It could be a new chapter, and somewhere in that realm of unknown is what excites me now.” Ellsworth also stated that the album was expected to be released in February 2019, and ten songs were written “but they’re all up for change. The way we kind of write is it evolves from a riff and then it becomes a song and then it becomes arranged.”
On June 1, 2018, the band announced that they had begun recording their nineteenth studio album. During an interview with Eddie Trunk on Trunk Nation on October 10, 2018, bassist D. D. Verni announced that the album was finished; he was quoted as saying, “I just got the final sequencing and all that, so that’s all buttoned up. We’re working on the cover now. We still don’t have a title — we’re gonna have to come up with that soon — but we have a lot of things floating around. And the new release will probably be in February.”
On November 28, 2018, Overkill announced that their nineteenth studio album was titled The Wings of War and will be released on February 22, 2019. On the making of the album, Ellsworth stated: “It was a blast making The Wings of War! It is something old feeling new again, as our chemistry was altered by the addition of Jason Bittner. I was curious from the get-go, how would it pan out? I think what we accomplished here is a new, upgraded Overkill that embraced the new chemistry while taking our roots into the present. The new formula produced not only more raw power but more places to go with melody, a win, win. The key is being not only interested in the change but part of it. I’ll tell you what, it’s still fun as hell making Overkill records.”
On January 3, 2019, the band released the first trailer of the album in the form of a documentary series entitled “Welcome to the Garden State”, which tells about the history of the band. On January 28, 2019, the band announced The Wings Over USA 2019 tour, which will start on April 25th in Baltimore and will include performances by Death Angel and Act of Defiance.