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4.6 out of 5 stars
17
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 March 2015
This is Overkill's 4th studio Album and it is a masterpiece! There are 9 amazing tracks on this album that have such presence and power and speak of a bands impressive abilities as musicians and song writers. The overall feel of the album is heavier and darker than "Under the Influence" and the lyrical stance is more misanthropic than ever! There are slower heavier passages in the songs that make the atmosphere more menacing and darker than previous efforts. Musically the band are really tight and conjure images of a well oiled Dooms day Machine in full swing. The lead breaks are more melodic than the previous albums and add a depth to the overall sound on the album. The quality of the entire album gives off an air of establishment of a permanent foundation. Overkill aren't going away any time soon and they have certainly made there own place amongst the Big Four Thrash Metal bands, it is just a pity that the media don't take Overkill as seriously as they should. I have always felt that Overkill deserve to be included in the Big Four as in my humble opinion they are much better than Metallica and Anthrax. This album is a pinnacle of Thrash Metal and is in a class of its own, if you only buy one Overkill album this is the one you should get.
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on 23 November 2011
It's 1989 and thrash is pretty much dead in my opinion. The whole genre has peaked, no more landmarks like "Master of puppets" or "Peace sells..." are going to emerge from this thing. The days when up and coming thrash bands like Metallica were on MTV, half a decade before their break through are over. "Headbangers Ball" (An old heavy metal TV show on MTV which gave you current and up to the moment news and interviews with bands, for the younger ones out there) shifted with the sands as well, interviewing dozens of Soundgarden and Nirvana type bands in the 90's. Okay there was a few sparks left in the growing vacuum, one might bring up "Rust in Peace" released a year later...but I stick to my point. In 1989 thrash is dead.

And in 1989 if you're in a thrash band on a record label, that is no longer growing you're screwed. When bands like Anthrax and Metallica renewed their contracts with their record labels in the late 80's, the deal on the table was seven figures. So even if this record was a milestone, I think it was too little too late in terms of reality and the nature of the music business itself. Bobby Gustafson was probably the best thing about this band. He could write a good riff I tell you that much.

But although his riffs are good there's that age old problem I find with most thrash albums. The songs just don't step up. Why weren't the lower tier bands stepping up their game??? When the major league players release epic albums, you need to take notice. The riffs and some songs are catchy, but they're not stadium fillers. Although associated often with speed, Overkill wrote some slow chugging riffs here. I often see people say Overkill beat Pantera to the groove/thrash thing, and part of me agrees. The whole album has a "Master of puppets" inspired vibe. There is nothing wrong with that. But unlike MOP, where is the amazing production? Where are the killer songs and choruses?

Well in the end the lack of vision and the lack of will to survive, was why the majority of thrash was just forgotten and deleted from history. It's funny that seasoned thrash bands like Overkill just got left behind, but bands like Pantera would dominate the next decade. But either way I'm not one of those who lost much sleep about the whole thing, neither band were amazing in my eyes.
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on 21 June 2002
Back in 1989, New Yorkers Overkill unleashed one of the defining moments of thrash metal;the awesome 'Years Of Decay'.From the blistering opening salvo of 'Time To Kill','Elimination'and 'I Hate',to the album's finale, these guys simply pummel the listener with riff after riff after riff of classic thrash.If you love thrash-you need this album.It's all here,the crunching riffs,the machine gun double bass and the neck wrenching time changes.Bobby Ellsworth almost raps through the songs as he tries to keep up with the frenetic pace of the material on offer here.But it's not all generic,underneath the razor sharp riffs the band show an undeniable ability to GROOVE that lifts this band above the speed metal freaks.Forget Pantera, these guys invented power metal.It's only a pity they managed to sneak it in under the radar of the record buying metal heads.
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on 11 April 2010
Quality from start to finish. This album has many dimentions; pure thrash ('Evil Never Dies'). Punkish rants ('I Hate'). Slower grinding riffs ('Skullkrusher'). Songs that would only sound right with Bobby 'Blitz' singing them ('Time To Kill'), and yes love 'em or hate 'em a ballad (the title track). All this blends perfectly to make for a well rounded album that shows clearly how good Overkill were (and still are) as song writers as well as true to their roots thrash metal merchants. If you don't like Bitz's higher singing style that he used in the older stuff then this album may give you pause for thought because with songs like 'I Hate' and 'Time To Kill' you almost want to breath for him as he goes at it with such relentless gusto! That said I cannot help but wonder if you don't like Ellsworths vocals how you got into Overkill in the first place because they are an essential part of the Overkill sound and whether it's the higher style of 'I hate' or the growlier style of 'Skullkrusher' the delivery is always flawless and unmistakably Overkill, come to think of it that description sums up the whole album nicely and I need say no more other than why are you still reading this and not 'proceeding to checkout'.
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on 2 March 2006
if you loved fast cars ,wouldnt you want the fastest of the fast cars,wouldnt you?it makes sense,dont you agree,now,if you like speedy thrashy metal you have to sample the fastest around and i believe that it can be found on the 1989 classic 'the years of decay',it has a host of classic thrash metal songs with enough speed to beat linford christie in a race,there are of course slowed down moments on this and a ballad or two but that was very much part of what the major studios requested of the bands at the time,but its all good,i remember being about 12 and hearing the song 'elimination',i loved it and sang it for weeks,the vocals are not in the vein of tom araya of slayer,they are more high pitched but again thats no problem,all in all a vital album ,it still sounds good today,so bow your heads and praise overkill
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Essential listening from NY's thrashers.
This album is perhaps the greatest ever Overkill album, and certainly very high in the greatest ever Metal albums too.

From the speedy frenzied openers to the epic closers this is a very rewarding listener with riffs that make you jump up, solos that leave your jaw on the floor and a thousand catchy hooks.

The lyrics and artwork are good for an overkill album raising The Years Of Decay to a separate class from their other work (which was already very good.)

The technical proficiency is astounding with whiplash time signature changes, fret melting solos and cool double bass drum work.

For punk tinged epic thrash metal you can't really get any better !
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on 8 November 2007
THIS ALBUM HAS HAD MIXED REVIEWS OVER THE YEARS, SOME GOOD AND SOME BAD...IN MY OPINION IT IS A GOOD ALBUM, THAT MATURES WITH AGE,,WITH CLASSIC TRACKS LIKE "ELIMINATION", "EVIL NEVER DIES" AND THE LIVE FAVORITE "I HATE" YOU CAN'T REALLY GO WRONG...THE SLOWER MOMENTS ON THE ALBUM DESERVE A MENTION TOO, THEY ARE NOT MY MOST MEMORABLE OVERKILL MOMENTS, BUT TRACKS LIKE "WHO TENDS THE FIRE" AND "THE YEARS OF DECAY" STILL SOUND STRONG TODAY..DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, GIVE IT A SPIN YOURSELF...PLAY IT LOUD !!!!!!
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on 10 December 2014
I had never heard of these guys before and stumbled on this... WOW what a find. After hearing this and the follow up - Horrorscope which is even better - I cannot understand why these guys aren't better known. I liked this so much I have since bought the majority of their other albums.

If you're into Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus etc then check this out. These guys have many great albums but this is a great place to start.
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on 17 June 2013
Quality album hasn't left my trucks cd player since i purchased it really dont know how i had missed these guys with in the thrash seen they are one of the best .
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on 22 May 2015
A hidden gem. HUGE fan of thrash metal and have to say this has to one of the best albums from any of the 80s thrash bands. its perfect
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