Great Metal Albums of 1985: Overkill- Feel the Fire


Much has been said about the ‘Big 4′ in regards to thrash metal and a lot has already been said about them here and will be talked about more in the future since it’s metal’s golden decade in which they rose to glory. Just as much has been said about other bands who are just outside those top four bands and there has been much debate as to which bands should make it a top five or linger just below them. Bands I consider on the level just below that of Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeath and Slayer include Testament, Kreator, Venom and of course the band whose debut album I am posting about now, Overkill. There are other contenders too, I thought I’d just throw that in.

As with all the contenders, comparisons are always made with the “Big 4’ and of those, the closest link that Overkill’s “Feel the Fire” album has is definitely Anthrax. Probably because both bands are from the East Coast, the New York area to be exact. Like Joey Belladonna, Bobby Blitz’s vocals are quite clean and are backed up by strong, fast power riffs and thundering drums. This is very evident on the very first two songs on the album. Even if the remaining songs on “Feel the Fire” were so-so, these two songs would have me coming back to this album.

The third track, “There’s No Tomorrow,” constantly changes tempo so you have to keep alert on this one but Bobby Gustafson does nail the guitar solo. He does it again on the next track, “Second Son,” which is a return to Anthrax sounding metal, though Overkill do put their own stamp on it. “Hammerhead” is a definite thrash track and the one to get a mosh pit to open up. If “Hammerhead” opened a mosh pit, then the title cut would be the track to keep it going. Even if you didn’t go into the pit, you want to stand there throwing fists or horns along with it. My vote for song of the album, just beating out “Rotten to the Core.” I can see the mosh pit stopping so everyone can sing: “Fire, fire, the demon burns like a witch.” Then a killer guitar solo with a rhythm guitar trade off, brilliant!

If anything comes remotely close to being filler on “Feel the Fire,” it’s the tracks “Blood and Iron” and “Kill At Command,” though I do stress the remotely here. Even with these there are some good power chords to be had here. In 2019, the little chant like piece on the latter song may sound like it was done before but in 1985, it wasn’t. That brings us to the two closing tracks. I think the band was right to name the penultimate track after itself as it highlights everything I like about the band. It’s powerful, yet melodic in places with great vocals, throbbing rhythm section and a great guitar solo. The closer is a cover of a Dead Boys tune in which Overkill puts its own mark on. It was the correct way to end this debut album.

Track Listing:

  1. Raise the Dead
  2. Rotten to the Core
  3. There’s No Tomorrow
  4. Second Son
  5. Hammerhead
  6. Feel the Fire
  7. Blood and Iron
  8. Kill At Command
  9. Overkill
  10. Sonic Reducer



 Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth- vocals

Bobby Gustafson- guitar

Rat Skates- drums

D.D. Verni- bass

Thrash would gain a hold in my life in 1986 and I would have to go back to some of the great albums I had missed in 1985. “Feel the Fire” by Overkill made that task very pleasant.

Next post: Venom- From Hell to the Unknown

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: 














10 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Overkill- Feel the Fire”

  1. You must have the European version with 10 songs. The North American left Sonic Reducer off for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: