Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist D. D. Verni and lead vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth as the only constant members. In addition to Verni and Ellsworth, Overkill's current lineup includes Dave Linsk on lead guitar, Derek Tailer on rhythm guitar and Jason Bittner on drums. Along with Nuclear Assault and Anthrax, whose one-time lead guitarist Dan Spitz was also an early member of Overkill, the band is one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands, and they are often called "the Motörhead of thrash metal". The band has a notable mascot named "Chaly", a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, horns, bony wings and green eyes, who has appeared on most of their album covers.
To date, Overkill has released eighteen studio albums, an album of cover songs, three EPs and three live albums. They were one of the first thrash metal bands to sign to a major label (Atlantic Records in 1986), and rose to fame as part of the genre's movement of the late 1980s, along with bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus and Testament. Overkill achieved their first mainstream success with its second studio album and Atlantic debut, Taking Over (1987), which peaked at number 191 on the Billboard 200. The band's next five studio albums—Under the Influence (1988), The Years of Decay (1989), Horrorscope (1991), I Hear Black (1993) and W.F.O. (1994)—were also successful on the Billboard charts, with the latter two cracking the top ten on the Top Heatseekers chart. After their split from Atlantic in 1995, Overkill went through some label changes, but continued to enjoy moderate underground success, particularly in Europe and Japan. The band experienced a resurgence of popularity in their home country during the 2010s, with three of their studio albums released that decade—The Electric Age (2012), White Devil Armory (2014) and The Grinding Wheel (2017)—reaching the top 100 on the charts. As of 2006, Overkill has sold over 625,000 albums in the U.S. since the beginning of the SoundScan era, and over 16 million records worldwide as of 2012.
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