- Venue: The Forge – Joliet, Illinois
- Date: March 10, 2022
- Special guests: PRONG, CULTUS BLACK, MISFIRE
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
- All photos Copyright Michael L. Juvinall / Monu-Metal Photography – All Rights Reserved
Most metal fans are familiar with the Big 4 of thrash metal – Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. Well, if that moniker was extended to the Big 5,6 or 8, it would most definitely include New Jersey thrash gods OVERKILL in that list. A lot of fans out there even feel like they should replace one of the bands already in the current Big 4 group.
Overkill is one of the oldest thrash metal bands in existence today. They are older than any of the Big 4 bands by at least one year. They came into existence in 1980 but didn’t release their first album until 1985. They have come to be known as one of the most important bands of East Coast thrash metal.
I have been lucky enough to see the band live on two occasions previously and I was eagerly looking forward to seeing them live again to see if they have lost any steps in their live performance, I highly doubted so. I was once again at the best concert venue South of Chicago at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois on a late winter evening.
By this point in the evening, fans were primed and ready to go by the earlier opening bands. Of course, everyone was here to see Overkill and there was no denying it. When the stage went black, fans began to chant Overkill…Overkill…Overkill… in anticipation of the band hitting the stage. Out of the smoke and darkness came the shadowy shapes of the band as they cut into the opening notes of “Wrecking Crew”, and then the lights came on with Blitz taking the mic stand and belting out the vocals.
Throughout their set, the band played a nice array of songs from all across their discography. I really hate when a band refuses to play songs from earlier in their history and will only play current songs. Overkill is not one of those bands. Their nearly 90-minute set was full of at least one song from most of their albums. Of course, they played all the songs they are known for including classics like “Hello From The Gutter”, “Rotten To The Core”, “Horrorscope”, “Elimination”, “Fuck You” and great newer stuff like “Mean, Green, Killing Machine.”
After all these years, the band is still at the top of their game and I love that. Blitz’s vocals are still on point and he just emanates a vibe when he’s onstage that many vocalists and frontmen can’t match. He doesn’t miss a beat and his voice is still up there with the best in the business.
The rest of the band, led by bassist and founding member D.D. Verni was incredible. His musicality hasn’t wavered, even after 42 years of doing this. On the drums was newest member Jason Bittner. Derek Taylor was on rhythm guitar, and Vio-lence & Machine Head lead guitarist Phil Demmel was filling in on the tour for Dave Linsk, who was not able to play.
All I can say is if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see Overkill perform live, you owe it to yourself to make it happen. They put on one of the best live shows you will see from a thrash metal band.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Wrecking Crew
- Electric Rattlesnake
- Hello From the Gutter
- Rotten to the Core
- Bring Me the Night
- Head of a Pin
- Long Time Dyin’
- In Union We Stand
- Mean, Green, Killing Machine
- Old School
- Fuck You (The Subhumans cover)
- Overkill (Motörhead cover) (with “Fuck You” reprise)
Direct support on the tour came from New York City-based industrial-thrash band Prong! These guys are also vets of the East Coast metal scene. Most of the older metalheads will most likely know that band from MTV’s Headbangers Ball in the early 90’s with their hit, “Beg To Differ”, which got a lot of airplay on the network and was used as a soundbite for that show.
Prong never got the notoriety they really deserved. They are a much better band than people give them credit for. They were relegated to a footnote in the history of metal. I had never seen these guys perform live before and was really looking forward to seeing them play.
Of their twelve studio albums to date, they had only a handful of hits including “Beg To Differ”, “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, and “Unconditional”, which were all included in their set.
This trio are powerful musicians and tight as hell. Frontman and vocalist Tommy Victor is the sole original member left in the band. They didn’t disappoint and really revved up the crowd during their set. I was really impressed with how good they were and would line up to see them again in the future.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Beg to Differ
- Broken Peace
- Cut and Dry
- Whose Fist Is This Anyway?
- Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
- However It May End
What to say about Cultus Black…this is a deathcore/Nu-metal crossover band from Raleigh, North Carolina. They call themselves a cult…strange. I had no previous exposure to this band before I saw them on this night. I’m always up for seeing bands that I don’t know much about.
These guys have a weird stage presence and appearance. Their frontman is known only as “L”, while maintaining a ritualistic white body paint. The other band members wear plain white masks meant to signify their cult status.
I like to be honest in my band reviews and I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of their sound. I’ll readily admit that I’m not a fan of Nu metal or deathcore. Even though I didn’t like their sound or music, they are obviously good musicians and know what they’re doing. To each their own, so to speak.
2.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Witch Hunt
- Killing the Beautiful
- Negative Creep (Nirvana cover)
- You Make Me Sick
Misfire are a young thrash metal band and hometown boys from Joliet, Illinois. They’ve been around since 2018 and were recently signed to the eOne subsidiary label, MNRK Heavy. Their debut album, Sympathy For The Ignorant is due out on April 1st.
Being a local band, I’ve seen them live on several occasions and they have always impressed me with their style and substance. Their style is old-school thrash and they do it well.
The band is made up of Jay Jonnson (guitars, vocals), Sean Coogan (bass, vocals), and James Nicademus (drums).
They have improved immensely since I first saw them back in 2019. They have always been good musicians but I can plainly tell how they have matured just in the past few years. I’m hoping for big things out of this band and can’t wait to see their rise to fame.
3.5 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- He Said She Said
- What’s Up?
- War Of Mine
- Sympathy For The Ignorant
- Into The Pit
- Red Flag