Overkill - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2012

Killfest Tour
October 7 (21:30-23:00)
Capacity 800

The now-established annual event, Overkill's Killfest tour, returned to the Islington Academy for the fourth consecutive year, but this time they struggled with the line-up, having failed to secure the high-profile special guest act they had hoped for.

The special guest slot has previously been filled by the likes of Exodus, Destruction and Suicidal Angels, and the intention was to have a top thrash metal band in that slot again, plus openers Degradead and Purified In Blood. The plans fell through though, so Canadian traditionalists 3 Inches of Blood were asked to step in.

3IOB have a substantial following of their own, but having already come through the UK with their own headlining tour earlier in the year, it was unlikely their appearance would significantly bolster the attendance of this show, and it was easy to see that the room wasn't as full as it was for the 2011 equivalent. Nevertheless, their short, sharp half-hour set cherry-picked some of the fan-favourites from their five albums, and they did the right thing by bringing different songs which weren't present in the March setlist. Therefore the appearance of Night Marauders and the return of Destroy The Orcs pleased the knowing 3IOB fans in the audience the most, and overall their traditional/thrash metal mix well down well with the rest of the crowd.

Overkill too had to try to offer something different to fans who attended their tiny 100 Club show in August, while of course still promoting their current album The Electric Age, and keeping as many live favourites as possible in the set. No small task in a 90-minute set, but although the same five songs from The Electric Age and previous disc Ironbound were kept, with Come And Get It in particular looking set to become a regular, they still managed to switch a couple of the classics, and bring four rarely played back catalogue tracks into the show, much to the delight of the most well-versed fans.

Of course when it comes to Overkill, their live performances are flawless, so the airing of rare songs is always a bonus to their shows, rather than a focal point. That's why the set in August, which was only an hour long and didn't feature any rare songs at all, was still a great set. This show was the same, their usual peerless stage energy and tight-as-can-be playing. Old School sadly still hasn't been dropped, but its appearance is easily forgettable when the likes of It Lives, Who Tends The Fire, The Wait and Thunderhead were included for the first time in years.

Slipping Coma back into the encore before the inevitable Fuck You!!! was also a surprise, and just to make sure even a staple wasn't kept the same, the perennial closer included the rare Powersurge instead of the more common cover snippets like Sonic Reducer and Overkill. More so than previous Killfests, this set really was a setlist for the fans with inclusions no one saw coming. It's remarkable a band with a history like Overkill's can still bring out sets packed with surprises like that, and it should serve as a message to other bands who roll out the same greatest hits every year.

“ peerless stage energy ”

3 Inches of Blood setlist: Leather Lord / Deadly Sinners / Metal Woman / Revenge Is A Vulture / Night Marauders / Destroy The Orcs / Battles And Brotherhood / The Goatriders Horde

Overkill setlist: Come And Get It / Bring Me The Night / Rotten To The Core / It Lives / Electric Rattlesnake / Hello From The Gutter / Ironbound / Save Yourself / The Wait / Thunderhead / Old School / Who Tends The Fire / In Union We Stand / Elimination // Coma / Fuck You!!!/Powersurge

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2012, Gigs, Thrash Metal,

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