The Grinding Wheel

The Grinding Wheel
Overkill - The Grinding Wheel.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 10, 2017 (2017-02-10)
StudioGear Recording Studio, Shrewsbury, New Jersey
GenreThrash metal
LabelNuclear Blast
Overkill chronology
Historikill: 1995–2007
The Grinding Wheel
The Wings of War
Singles from The Grinding Wheel
  1. "Our Finest Hour"
    Released: November 4, 2016[2][3]
  2. "Mean, Green, Killing Machine"
    Released: December 21, 2016[4]

The Grinding Wheel is the 18th studio album by American thrash metal band Overkill, released on February 10, 2017.[2][1] It is the last Overkill album with drummer Ron Lipnicki, who left the band shortly after its release and was replaced by Jason Bittner (formerly of Shadows Fall and Flotsam and Jetsam) for the album's tour and its follow-up The Wings of War (2019).[5]


Vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth said about the album's style:

"At the end of the day Overkill is Overkill. Our trademark is that we are always recognizable on every release. For the three decades we have been around we were always Overkill. So sure it is a metal record and like always it will have sort of a thrash vibe to it with some melody in it. It's always best to try to make it better or at least think in your mind that it is going to be better. That becomes the challenge. I think that is what keeps the band rolling. A lot of bands are known for what they have done, but I feel being known for where you are and what you are doing is where true value lies. I feel we accomplished that on the last few albums."

The album's title was revealed in an interview with Alternative Nation in August 2016, along with a projected release date of November.[6] It was originally planned to be released in October 2016[7][8] before being pushed back a month later;[9] however, the album's release date was pushed back to February 2017 to coincide with the band's US tour with Nile.[2] On November 16, 2016, it was announced that The Grinding Wheel would be released on February 10, 2017, and its artwork and track listing were revealed on the same day.[1]

Critical reception[]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic[10]4/5 stars[11]9.5/10
Rock Hard[13]8.5/10

The Grinding Wheel has received generally positive reviews from critics. writer Ray Van Horn Jr. gave the album a rating of nine-and-a-half out of ten, and said, "If you think Overkill expended its tanks producing output with such astonishing velocity, you don't know this band very well. For its eighteenth album, The Grinding Wheel, Overkill does the unthinkable: it outdoes itself. Consider that some fans dropped off after 1991's Horrorscope, which is those poor saps' folly. For the diehard wrecking crew, The Grinding Wheel is going to be a gift to cling to throughout 2017." He finished his review, saying that the album "well surpasses the recent offerings by the Big Four, noble as most of the latter's recent offerings have been. If Destruction won the thrash sweepstakes in 2016, consider Overkill early on front runners for 2017."[11]

AllMusic writer James Christopher Monger gave the album a rating of four stars out of five, and said that it "snaps necks with impunity, but it does so with a structural inventiveness that's eluded some of Overkill's most recent offerings. While the band hasn't lost its knack for dropping unrelenting artillery blasts of breakneck, old-school thrash -- "Goddamn Trouble," "Red, White, and Blue"—there's a nervy, classic rock/NWOBHM undercurrent that runs through Grinding Wheel that owes more to Judas Priest and Accept than it does Testament and Metallica." Monger also praised the album's opening track "Mean, Green, Killing Machine" as "thrilling an opening number as the band has penned in a decade" and "Come Heavy" a "decidedly upbeat, Sabbathy doom anthem".[10] contributor Alex Yarborough, who reviewed The Grinding Wheel a week before its release, gave the album a rating of four-and-a-half out of five, and wrote, "Fans will also be happy with the thrash energy on this album, while also enjoying the diversity of the songs: more references to NWOBHM, punk, and classic rock. This band is driven by Blitz’s frenetic vocal delivery and energy. Yet no political songs can be found on the album; surprising, since Blitz has some strong political views and 2016 was the most divisive year for politics in American history. Nonetheless, Overkill's middle finger remains in your face."[12]

Commercial performance[]

The Grinding Wheel debuted at number 69 on the Billboard 200, making it the second highest position of Overkill's career (after its predecessor, White Devil Armory, which charted at number 31).[15]

Track listing[]

All tracks are written by D. D. Verni and Bobby Ellsworth.

1."Mean, Green, Killing Machine"7:29
2."Goddamn Trouble"6:21
3."Our Finest Hour"5:49
4."Shine On"6:03
5."The Long Road"6:45
6."Let's All Go to Hades"4:55
7."Come Heavy"4:59
8."Red White and Blue"5:05
9."The Wheel"4:51
10."The Grinding Wheel"7:55
Total length:60:12
Bonus tracks[16][17]
11."Emerald" (Thin Lizzy cover)3:52
12."Sanctuary" (Iron Maiden cover (Japanese version))3:16


Writing, performance and production crs are adapted from the album liner notes.[18]



Session members


Artwork and design



Chart (2017) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19] 55
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[20] 33
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21] 59
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 79
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[23] 44
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[24] 10
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[25] 21
Scottish Albums (OCC)[26] 92
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 23
US Billboard 200[15] 69
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[28] 2
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[29] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[30] 11
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[31] 1


  1. ^ a b c "OVERKILL - announce their 18th studio album, The Grinding Wheel!". Nuclear Blast. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "OVERKILL: 'The Grinding Wheel' Album Pushed Back To February; Listen To Snippet Of New Song 'Our Finest Hour'". September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "OVERKILL: Lyric Video For New Single 'Our Finest Hour'". October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  4. ^ "OVERKILL: Lyric Video For New Song 'Mean, Green, Killing Machine'". December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Overkill Joined By Shadows Fall And Flotsam And Jetsam Drummer Jason Bittner". May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "Overkill Vocalist Talks Upcoming Record 'Grinding Wheel'". Alternative Nation. August 13, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  7. ^ "OVERKILL Is Aiming To Release New Album In October 2016". October 28, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "OVERKILL Has Eleven Songs 'Fully Demoed' For Upcoming Album". March 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "OVERKILL To Release 'Grinding Wheel' Album In November". August 13, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  10. ^ a b James Christopher Monger (February 9, 2017). "Overkill The Grinding Wheel". Allmusic. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Van Horn Jr., Ray. "CD Reviews - The Grinding Wheel Overkill". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Yarborough, Alex (January 30, 2017). "KNAC.COM - Reviews - OVERKILL 'The Grinding Wheel'". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Bittner, Ronny (2017). "Review Album: Overkill -The Grinding Wheel". Rock Hard (in German). No. 357. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  14. ^ Glasper, Ian (March 2017). "Overkill: 'The Grinding Wheel'". Terrorizer. United Kingdom: Dark Arts (279): 70. ISSN 1350-6978.
  15. ^ a b "Overkill Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "The Grinding Wheel Mailorder Edition". Nuclear Blast. November 28, 2016. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  17. ^ "The Grinding Wheel (Deluxe Edition)". iTunes. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  18. ^ The Grinding Wheel (booklet). Overkill. Nuclear Blast. 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #408". auspOp. February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  20. ^ " – Overkill – The Grinding Wheel" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  21. ^ " – Overkill – The Grinding Wheel" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  22. ^ " – Overkill – The Grinding Wheel" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  23. ^ "Overkill: The Grinding Wheel" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  24. ^ " – Overkill – The Grinding Wheel" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  25. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2017. 7. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  27. ^ " – Overkill – The Grinding Wheel". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  28. ^ "Overkill Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "Overkill Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  30. ^ "Overkill Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  31. ^ "Overkill Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.