Overkill + Vader + One Machine – Leeds, 7th April 2016

It’s not everyday a reviewer jumps at the chance to go to a gig after working from 6am-4pm, with the very same shift to do the next day, but jump I did when I got the opportunity to see Overkill in Leeds on the 7th April.

After arriving a little early, I was told that my interview with Bobby Blitz would be a little late, and was consequently invited into the venue to spectate their sound check. Now, anyone that knows me at all will be aware that this was like Christmas had come early. Overkill are up there in my top three, if not favourite band of all time – and I was given the opportunity to watch them play their first three songs to an empty room…absolute dream come true. Whilst I was in my little dreamland, Bobby Blitz tapped me on the shoulder and beckoned me to follow him to conduct the interview on their tour bus.  You can read that interview here.

One Machine - Leeds 2016
One Machine

One Machine kicked the night off with brute force, playing as the room slowly filled. Due to doors opening late, and punters still flocking in towards the end of their set, they unfortunately didn’t have the audience they deserved. They played brilliantly, showing those who did arrive early that they truly deserved their slot on this killer tour lineup. They did, however, seem to have a really short set, either that, or I was enjoying them too much for them to end. Mikkel Sandager proves he is capable of being both melodic and brutally powerful, being supported and balanced by technical guitar licks and sweeping solos, all brilliantly composed by songwriter and lead guitarist Steve Smyth.

Set list: Forewarning | The Distortion of Lies and the Overdriven Truth | New Motive Power | The Final Cull | Summoning of the Soul | Screaming for Light


Vader - Leeds 2016

Polish metal titans Vader were next to take to the stage, filling the air with a dark, creeping atmosphere. Having never seen them perform before, they absolutely blew me away with their technical take on thrashy death metal. They wouldn’t be the first band I’d have initially picked for Overkill’s main support slot, but any doubts were soon blown out of the water. They belonged on that stage, owning it and tearing it a new one as they smashed song after song. Again, the crowd wasn’t as fully attended as it should have been for the night, but they managed to achieve what One Machine could not – and that was to hold the attention of the crowd. There seemed to be just as many punters there for Vader’s show as there were for Overkill, with many fans sporting vintage tees from tours long past.

Set list: Wings | Go To Hell | Reborn in Flames | Sothis | Carnal | Triumph of Death | Come and See My Sacrifice | Cold Demons | Dark Age | Helleluyah (God Is Dead)

Overkill - Leeds 2016

Overkill soared through their show, playing a set celebrating two specific albums: Horrorscope and Feel The Fire, with each of them having their 25th and 30th anniversaries respectively. Opening with Armorist, the thrash lords summoned demons within a very sleepy Leeds crowd, with the floor erupting into windmills, headbangs and crowd surfers. Overkill really proved that they are Gods amongst men when it’s mentioned that they have been doing this for 35 years; I mean, that’s crazy! Playing a whopping 19-song set, the New Jersey Wrecking Crew were on top form, taking no prisoners as they tore through their age-tested performance.  Watching Overkill, for me – will never grow tiresome. Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth may be 56, but he charges about the stage like someone half his age, with such gusto that Overkill will never be dubbed ‘boring’ – as many bands who have been going half as long have been. With an obvious divide between generations spectating in the audience – it’s also a joy to see that the pioneers of thrash metal are still current and revered by the crowds. 10/10 performance from Overkill. Overkill - Leeds University Union - 07th April 2016

Set List: Armorist | Rotten to the Core | Electric Rattlesnake | Hello From The Gutter | Hammerhead | Feel The Fire | Blood and Iron | Coma | Infectious | Blood Money | Bare Bones | Nice Day…For a Funeral | Horrorscope | Thanx for Nothin’ | New Machine | Raise the Dead | Overkill | Elimination | Fuck You


Photos by Miley Stevens Photography


Overkill - Leeds 2016

About Miley Stevens

A triple threat, being a photographer, reviewer and interviewer, Miley is PlanetMosh's resident thrash princess - enjoying all things fast and heavy. Fan of the boys with long hair.