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Overkill

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New Jersey, United States (1980 – present)

Overkill is an American thrash metal band formed in 1980 in New Jersey. The band has been active since 1984, releasing 16 studio albums, 2 EPs, 2 live albums and a “covers” album. Despite their first album being released in 1985, most of the songs appearing on their first two albums were written between 1981 and 1984, and as such, they are often hailed as one the inventors of thrash metal.

The band also has a notable mascot (named Chaly), a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, bony wings, and green eyes. It has appeared on most of their album covers. Overkill has gone through many line-up changes, with singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni remaining the only consistent members. Along with Anthrax the band is one of the most successful East coast thrash metal bands.

Overkill was formed in 1980 from the ashes of the punk band The Lubricunts, featuring Rat Skates and D.D. Verni (real names Lee Kundrat and Carlo Verni). Verni and Skates placed an ad looking for a guitarist and singer which was answered by singer Bobby Ellsworth and the first incarnation of Overkill was formed. After rejecting several names, including “Virgin Killer”, the band finally settled on Overkill. Early covers, especially those done under the Virgin Killers name, were punk songs by Ramones, Dead Boys and others. By late 1980, the band had recruited two guitarists, and the setlist was made up of songs by bands such as Motörhead (“Overkill”, half of the Ace of Spades album), Judas Priest (‘Tyrant’ was their closer), and Riot.

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