- USA Release on Megaforce Records

Overkill's "Taking Over" (1987), released on Megaforce Records, cemented the band as a major force in American thrash metal. With raw energy, intricate riffing, and controversial lyrics, the album showcases Overkill's unique East Coast sound. Produced by Alex Perialas, "Taking Over" propelled the band into the mainstream and remains a testament to their enduring legacy in the genre.

High Resolution Photo of overkill taking over usa release

"Taking Over": A Thrash Metal Onslaught from the East Coast
Album Description:

Released in 1987 on Megaforce Records, "Taking Over" was Overkill's second studio album and their breakthrough in the American thrash metal scene. The album arrived during the peak of thrash metal's popularity, with bands like Metallica and Slayer dominating the scene. However, Overkill, hailing from New Jersey, brought their own unique East Coast flavor to the genre.

Historical Context

The late 1980s was a pivotal time for thrash metal. It was evolving and expanding, with bands pushing the boundaries of speed, aggression, and technicality. "Taking Over" emerged in this vibrant scene, showcasing Overkill's ability to compete with their West Coast counterparts and solidifying their position in the US market.

Musical Exploration

"Taking Over" is a relentless assault of thrash metal fury. The album's ten tracks are filled with fast tempos, intricate riffing, and pummeling drums. Overkill's signature sound, a blend of punk energy and metal aggression, is on full display.

The album opens with the anthemic "Deny the Cross," setting the tone for the sonic onslaught that follows. Songs like "Wrecking Crew" and "Fear His Name" showcase the band's technical prowess, while "Powersurge" and "Electro-Violence" highlight their knack for crafting infectious hooks.

The album's lyrics delve into dark and often controversial themes, including religion, violence, and societal decay. This lyrical content, combined with the band's aggressive sound, solidified Overkill's reputation as a force to be reckoned with.

Production Team

"Taking Over" was produced by Alex Perialas, who had previously worked with Anthrax. Perialas captured the band's raw energy and aggression, creating a sound that was both powerful and polished. The album's production helped to propel Overkill into the mainstream, exposing them to a wider audience.

Music Genre:

Speed Thrash Metal 

Album Production information:

The album: "OVERKILL - Taking Over" was produced by: Alex Perialas, Overkill, Jon Zazula

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

Jon Zazula: How did a record store shape metal forever? The Jon Zazula story – a must-read for music fans.

Stephen Innocenzi - Mastering Engineer

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.

Christie Mullen - Photographer

Ron Akiyama - Photographer

Ron Akiyama (His Name Is Sometimes Misspelled As "Ron Akiama") Is A Photographer And Has Done Photography For The Albums Of "Anthrax", "M.O.D." And "Overkill".

Daniel Muro - Album Artwork

Daniel Muro Worked For The Producer Todd Gordon On Several Heavy Metal Bands. Bands He Has Photographed Include Overkill, Hades And Many Others.

Mike Vayenes - Photographer

William Benson - Album Artwork

Record Label Information:

Megaforce Worldwide 81735 

Media Format:

12" Vinyl LP  Gramophone Record
Album weight: 230 gram 

Year & Country:

1987 Made in USA
Band Members and Musicians on: OverKill Taking Over
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - Lead Vocals
  • D.D. Verni - Bass
  • Bobby Gustafson - Guitar
  • Rat Skates - Drums

Notes on the musicians of Overkill band

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

Bobby Gustafson (real-name Robert Wayne Gustafson) - Guitar, timeline:
- 1980-1982 The DropOuts
- 1982-1990 Overkill

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".

Rat Skates - Drums, timeline:
- 1978-1980 The Lubricunts
- 1980-1987 Overkill
- 1990-1993 Bomb Squad


Track Listing of: "Taking Over"

The Song/tracks on "Overkill Taking Over" are:

    Side One:
  • Deny The Cross
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Fear His Name
  • Use Your Head
  • Fatal if Swallowed
    Side Two:
  • Powersurge
  • In Union We Stand
  • Electro-Violence
  • OverKill II (The Nightmare Continues)
Album cover photos of : OverKill Taking Over

High Resolution Photo of overkill taking over usa release  


High Resolution Photo of overkill taking over usa release  


High Resolution Photo of overkill taking over usa release  


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.
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