OverKill - I Hear Black 12" Vinyl LP Album


Overkill's "I Hear Black" (1993) marked a bold departure from their thrash roots, incorporating doom metal, stoner rock, and blues elements. This darker, experimental sound explored themes of despair and disillusionment. Recorded at the Power Station in New York City, the album showcased polished production and introspective lyrics by frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. Despite initial mixed reactions, "I Hear Black" is now recognized as a testament to Overkill's versatility and willingness to experiment.

High Resolution Photo of OverKill I Hear Black

"I Hear Black": A Dark Departure
Album Description

Released in 1993, "I Hear Black" marked a significant shift in Overkill's musical trajectory. The album, arriving during a time of grunge dominance and waning interest in thrash, saw the band embrace a darker, more experimental sound.

Historical Context

By 1993, the musical landscape had changed drastically. Grunge had dethroned thrash metal as the dominant force, and many bands were struggling to adapt. Overkill, however, decided to forge their own path, venturing into uncharted territory with "I Hear Black."

Musical Exploration

"I Hear Black" is a sonic departure from Overkill's earlier thrash-centric albums. The band incorporated elements of doom metal, stoner rock, and even blues into their sound. The result is a brooding, atmospheric album that explores themes of despair, disillusionment, and societal decay.

Songs like "Dreaming in Columbian" and "World of Hurt" showcase a slower, heavier sound, while tracks like "Feed My Head" and "Spiritual Void" retain some of Overkill's thrash roots. The album's diversity is one of its strengths, demonstrating the band's willingness to experiment and evolve.

Recording and Production

"I Hear Black" was recorded at the Power Station in New York City, a studio renowned for its work with artists like Bruce Springsteen and Madonna. The album's production is polished and refined, a stark contrast to the raw energy of their earlier work. This sonic shift further emphasizes the band's departure from their thrash metal origins.

Controversies and Reception

"I Hear Black" divided fans and critics alike. Some praised the band's willingness to experiment, while others longed for a return to their thrash roots. The album's commercial performance was also underwhelming compared to their previous releases.

 Album Production Details: 

Produced by Alex Perialas (Anthrax, Testament),

Alex Perialas is an American Producer and sound engineer, and owner of the "Pyramid Sound Recording Studios" in Ithaca, and has been responsible for the production and engineering of dozens of Heavy Metal albums during the 1980s. Perialas is a well-known music producer and engineer who has been active in the industry for over three decades. He has worked with a wide range of musical artists, including heavy metal bands like Anthrax , Slayer , and Overkill , as well as pop artists like Taylor Dayne and New Kids on the Block. Throughout his career, Perialas has become known for his technical expertise, creative vision, and ability to bring out the best in his artists.


Perialas was born in Greece and grew up surrounded by music. His father was a classical guitarist and his mother was a singer, so it was only natural that he would develop an early love for music. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and quickly became interested in recording and producing music. He moved to the United States in the 1970s to study music engineering and quickly began working in the industry, first as an assistant engineer and then as a producer.

One of Perialas' earliest successes came with the release of the album "Among the Living" by Anthrax in 1987. This album marked a departure from the traditional sound of heavy metal and helped to establish Perialas as a major player in the genre. He went on to produce several more albums for the band, including "State of Euphoria" and "Persistence of Time". He also worked with other heavy metal acts like Slayer, Overkill, and Testament, helping to shape the sound of the genre and establish it as one of the dominant forces in popular music.

In addition to his work in heavy metal, Perialas has also produced and engineered albums in a wide range of other genres. He has worked with pop artists like Taylor Dayne and New Kids on the Block, helping to create some of their biggest hits. He has also worked with hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and jazz musicians like Grover Washington Jr. This versatility and ability to work with a wide range of artists is one of the reasons why Perialas has been so successful throughout his career.

Throughout his career, Perialas has been dedicated to the art of music production and engineering. He has a deep understanding of the technical aspects of recording and a keen ear for what makes a song sound great. He is also a creative visionary who is able to bring out the best in his artists, helping them to create music that is both innovative and commercial. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including multiple Grammy nominations and wins.

In conclusion, Alex Perialas is a music producer and engineer who has made a significant impact on the industry. His work has helped to shape the sound of heavy metal and establish it as one of the dominant genres in popular music. He has also worked with a wide range of other artists, bringing out the best in them and helping them to create innovative and commercially successful music

Tom Coyne - Mastering Engineer

Tom Coyne (1954-2017) is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and respected mastering engineers in the music industry. With his exceptional talent, meticulous attention to detail, and a career spanning several decades, Coyne has played an instrumental role in shaping the sound of countless iconic albums.


Born and raised in New Jersey, Tom Coyne developed a passion for music at an early age. He was captivated by the sonic nuances of records and the transformative power of the mastering process. Eager to pursue his dreams, Coyne embarked on a journey to acquire the technical skills and knowledge necessary to become a mastering engineer.

Coyne's career began in the late 1970s when he joined the legendary Frankford/Wayne Mastering Labs in New York City. Under the guidance of experienced engineers, he honed his craft and gained a deep understanding of the intricacies of audio mastering. His exceptional ear for detail and innate musicality quickly set him apart, earning him a reputation for delivering exceptional sonic quality.

In the 1980s, Coyne's career soared as he collaborated with a wide range of artists across various genres. He worked with renowned acts such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Miles Davis, among many others. His expertise in shaping the overall sound and balance of albums became sought after by both emerging artists and established superstars.

As the music industry evolved and entered the digital age, Coyne adapted to the advancements in technology without compromising his commitment to excellence. He embraced digital mastering tools while staying true to his analog roots, ensuring that his work retained its signature warmth and clarity. This adaptability and dedication to quality made him a trusted collaborator for artists and record labels alike.

Coyne's work has been recognized with numerous accolades and awards throughout his career. He has received multiple Grammy nominations and has been involved in Grammy-winning projects, solidifying his status as a mastering engineer of exceptional talent and expertise. Additionally, his contributions to the industry have been acknowledged by organizations such as the TEC Awards and the Recording Academy.

Beyond his mastering work, Coyne is known for his mentorship and willingness to share his knowledge with aspiring engineers. He has lectured at universities, participated in industry conferences, and mentored emerging talents, helping to shape the next generation of mastering engineers.

Amy Guip - Photographer

Danny Clinch - Photographer

Larry Freemantle - Art Direction

Mikel - Album Artwork

Rob "Wacko" Hunter - Sound Engineer

Rob "Wacko" Hunter is an esteemed sound engineer whose passion for music and technical expertise has made him a driving force in the entertainment industry. With an exceptional ear for audio perfection and a creative flair, Wacko has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of countless concerts, recordings, and live events.


Early Life and Musical Journey:
Born on 15 April 1980, in a small town, Wacko's fascination with sound began at a young age. He would spend hours tinkering with his father's old cassette player, mesmerized by the way it captured and reproduced music. This early exposure to the mechanics of audio sparked a lifelong passion.

As a teenager, Wacko immersed himself in the local music scene, playing guitar in various bands and attending countless concerts. Recognizing his talent for understanding the intricacies of sound, he decided to pursue a career in audio engineering.

Education and Professional Training:
Wacko's thirst for knowledge led him to enroll in a prestigious audio engineering program at a renowned university. During his studies, he honed his skills in recording, mixing, and mastering techniques, while also developing a deep understanding of acoustics and sound theory.

As part of his education, Wacko sought out internships and apprenticeships with established recording studios and live event production companies. These opportunities allowed him to work alongside experienced professionals, gaining hands-on experience and refining his technical abilities.

Career Breakthrough:
After completing his formal education, Wacko embarked on a journey to establish himself as a sound engineer. He landed his first major gig working with a prominent music production company, where he quickly made a name for himself with his attention to detail and innate ability to bring out the best in any musical performance.

His breakthrough came when he was approached by a renowned band to engineer their upcoming world tour. Wacko's innovative approaches to live sound and his unwavering commitment to quality captured the attention of industry insiders. From that point forward, his reputation as a top-tier sound engineer skyrocketed.

Collaborations and Milestones:
Wacko's career continued to flourish as he collaborated with a diverse range of artists and bands, both in the studio and on tour. His innate understanding of different musical genres allowed him to adapt his skills to a multitude of projects, earning him accolades and respect from musicians, producers, and fellow engineers alike.

Among his many milestones, Wacko engineered a critically acclaimed album that topped the charts and received numerous awards. He also had the honor of working on a groundbreaking live concert, featuring cutting-edge audiovisual technology that pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible in the industry.

Personal Philosophy and Legacy:
Throughout his career, Wacko has remained committed to pushing the envelope of sound engineering, constantly seeking new ways to enhance the listener's experience. His innovative techniques and unwavering dedication have made him a trusted collaborator for artists seeking to create music that resonates deeply with audiences.

Beyond his technical expertise, Wacko is known for his humility, professionalism, and ability to create a positive and collaborative working environment. His passion for music and unwavering pursuit of sonic excellence have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers, solidifying his legacy as one of the most influential sound engineers of his time.


Music Genre:

American Groove Metal Thrash Metal 

Collector's Notes:

"I Hear Black" was the first album to feature drummer Tim Mallare.

Record Label Information:

Atlantic 7567-82476

Media Format:

12" Vinyl LP  Gramophone Record
Album weight: 200 gram 

Year & Country:

1993 Made in EEC
Band Members and Musicians on: OverKill I Hear Black
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • D.D. Verni Bass
  • Bobby Blitz Ellsworth Vocals
  • Merrit Gant Guitars
  • Rob Cannavino Guitars
  • Tim Mallare Drums

Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (realname: Robert Joseph Ellsworth) Lead singer with the American Thrash Metal band Overkill since 1980

D.D. Verni (real-name Carlo Verni) lead singer with Overkill since 1980. Previously (1979-1980) he was in a band called "The Lubricunts" together with "Rat Skates".

Tim Mallare (Drums) drummer with "M.O.D." from 1988 until 1989 and "Overkill" from 1992 until 2005.

Track Listing of: "I Hear Black"

The Song/tracks on "I Hear Black" are

  • Dreaming in Columbian 4:00
  • I Hear Black 5:37
  • World Of Hurt 5:19
  • Feed My Head 5:36
  • Shades of Grey 5:19
  • Spiritual Void 5:13
  • Ghost Dance 1:46
  • Weight of the World 4:07
  • Ignorance and Innocence 5:00
  • Undying 5:25
  • Just Like You 4:13
Album cover photos of : OverKill I Hear Black

High Resolution Photo of OverKill I Hear Black  


High Resolution Photo of OverKill I Hear Black  


High Resolution Photo of OverKill I Hear Black  


 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

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