OVERKILL - The Years Of Decay Megaforce Worldwide 12" Vinyl LP Album

   "The Years of Decay" is considered Overkill's breakthrough album, It featured one of the bands best known songs "Elimination", which had a popular music video. Many fans and critics consider this to be one of their best albums. "The Years of Decay" is the fourth studio album by thrash metal band Overkill. It was released in 1989 on the Megaforce label, with distribution handled by Atlantic Records.


Album Front Cover Photo of OVERKILL - The Years Of Decay Megaforce Worldwide

Overkill's "The Years of Decay": A Thrash Metal Masterpiece
Album Description:

Released in 1989 on Megaforce Worldwide, "The Years of Decay" marked a pivotal moment in Overkill's career. The album arrived at a time when thrash metal was experiencing a surge in popularity, and Overkill, with their relentless energy and aggressive sound, were ready to take the world by storm.

Historical Context

Thrash metal was in full swing in 1989. Bands like Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth were enjoying mainstream success, pushing the genre to new heights. Overkill, with their East Coast roots and distinct sound, were poised to make their mark on this burgeoning scene. "The Years of Decay" solidified their position as one of thrash metal's leading lights.

Musical Exploration

"The Years of Decay" showcases Overkill's evolution as a band. The album features a more mature and refined sound compared to their earlier work, with slower tempos, longer song structures, and more complex arrangements. However, the band's trademark intensity and aggression remained intact.

Tracks like "Elimination" and "Time to Kill" are classic thrash anthems, while "Nothing to Die For" and "Who Tends the Fire" explore darker, more melodic territory. The album's closing track, "E.vil N.ever D.ies," is a sprawling epic that showcases the band's technical prowess and songwriting skills.


The album's cover art, depicting a decaying skull, sparked some controversy. Some critics accused the band of glorifying violence and morbidity, but Overkill maintained that the album was a commentary on societal decay and the human condition.

Recording Studio and Frontman

"The Years of Decay" was recorded at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut. The album also marks the return of Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, who had briefly left the band in 1987. Blitz's distinctive high-pitched vocals and charismatic stage presence were crucial to Overkill's success.

Essential Album Information For: OVERKILL - The Years Of Decay Megaforce Worldwide

Music Genre:

Thrash Metal

Label & Catalognr:

Megaforce Worldwide - 782 045-1, Atlantic – 782 045-1

Media Format:

Record Format: 12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

1989 European Release

OVERKILL - The Years Of Decay Megaforce Worldwide Production & Recording Information


Overkill - Producer

Terry Date - Producer

Terry Date is an American Music producer and sound recording engineer, specializing in the rock genres, specially heavy metal.

He was born on 10 November 1954, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Date began his musical career in the 1970s as a recording engineer, working on albums by a number of well-known artists in the rock and heavy metal scenes.


He is known for his distinctive production style, which combines powerful, heavy guitar sounds with dynamic, punchy drums and clear, clean vocals. Date has been recognized as an influential figure in the heavy metal and hard rock communities, and his work has been widely praised for its impact on the sound of modern metal music.

He is well known for his work with Overkill , Metal Church , Slipknot, Pantera, Soulfly, White Zombie, Deftones, Dark Angel , Dream Theater, Slayer , Soundgarden and Limp Bizkit.

Jon and Marsha Zazula - Executive Producers

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

Marsha Zazula widely known as a pioneering executive producer in the music industry, played a significant role in shaping the landscape of heavy metal music. Alongside her husband Jon Zazula, she co-founded and owned Megaforce Records, a renowned record label that served as a launching pad for numerous influential bands. Marsha's tireless dedication to supporting emerging talent and her unwavering commitment to the artists she worked with established her as an influential figure in the music business.


Born and raised in the United States, Marsha developed a deep passion for music from an early age. She possessed an innate ability to recognize exceptional talent and had an unwavering belief in the power of heavy metal as a genre. In 1982, Marsha and Jon founded Megaforce Records in New Jersey, creating a platform to promote and distribute the music they loved.

Marsha's role at Megaforce Records involved overseeing the production of albums for an impressive roster of bands. Throughout the 1980s, she produced over two dozen albums for notable acts such as Hades, Overkill, Raven, and Anthrax. Her work as a producer not only showcased her impeccable musical taste but also her ability to nurture artists and bring out their best performances.

Under Marsha's guidance, Megaforce Records became synonymous with the burgeoning thrash metal movement of the 1980s. The label's roster boasted a diverse range of influential bands that pushed the boundaries of heavy metal music. Marsha's keen ear for talent and her dedication to ensuring the artists' artistic vision were preserved made Megaforce Records a sought-after destination for aspiring metal bands.

Marsha's influence extended beyond the studio. She actively worked to secure recording contracts, negotiate deals, and promote the artists she believed in. Her relentless efforts to get the music heard by wider audiences resulted in several breakthrough moments for the bands she worked with.

Beyond her work with Megaforce Records, Marsha also played a pivotal role in organizing and promoting live events. She recognized the importance of live performances as a means for bands to connect with their fans and build a devoted following. Through her efforts, Marsha helped facilitate countless memorable concerts and tours, solidifying Megaforce Records' reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the heavy metal scene.

Marsha Zazula's contributions to the music industry have left an indelible mark on the world of heavy metal. Her passion, vision, and unwavering support for artists have been instrumental in shaping the careers of numerous bands and influencing the genre as a whole. Her work with Megaforce Records helped pave the way for the success of countless metal acts, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to resonate with fans and musicians to this day.


Sound & Recording Engineers:

Terry Date - Sound Engineer

Matt Lane - Sound Engineer

  Matt Lane has been producer or engineer for records of: Overkill, Fates Warning, Liege Lord, Evoken.

Recording Location:

The "Years of Decay" was ecorded at: Carriage House Studios, Stamford, CT, June/July 1989

Mastered at: Masterdisk, NYC by Howie Weinberg

Howie Weinberg is a highly renowned and respected mastering engineer in the music industry. With a career spanning over four decades, he has played an instrumental role in shaping the sound and quality of numerous iconic albums. Born on 14 September 14, 1953, in New York City, Howie's passion for music began at a young age.


In the early 1970s, Weinberg embarked on his journey into the music industry, starting as an assistant engineer at Masterdisk, a leading mastering studio in New York City. Under the guidance of accomplished engineers like Bob Ludwig and Greg Calbi, Howie honed his skills and gained invaluable experience working with a diverse range of artists and genres.

Throughout the 1980s, Weinberg emerged as a prominent figure in the industry, known for his meticulous attention to detail and innovative approach to mastering. His ability to enhance the sonic qualities of recordings and optimize their playback on various formats made him highly sought after by both established and emerging artists.

One of the pivotal moments in Howie Weinberg's career came when he collaborated with renowned producer Rick Rubin on the Beastie Boys' groundbreaking album "Licensed to Ill" in 1986. The success of the album further solidified Howie's reputation as an exceptional mastering engineer. This led to a fruitful partnership with Rubin, and they worked together on a string of influential albums, including releases by Slayer, Public Enemy, and Johnny Cash.

Weinberg's remarkable talent for mastering became evident in his ability to capture the essence of an artist's vision while adding his expertise to create a polished and dynamic final product. His work on Nirvana's iconic album "Nevermind" in 1991 is a testament to his ability to bring out the best in a recording, with his mastering contributing to the album's raw energy and sonic impact.

Over the years, Howie Weinberg has collaborated with a wide array of artists and bands from various genres, including U2, The White Stripes, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many others. His discography boasts an extensive list of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, solidifying his position as one of the most influential mastering engineers of his time.

In 1995, Howie Weinberg opened his own mastering studio, Howie Weinberg Mastering, in Los Angeles. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a deep understanding of the mastering process, the studio became a go-to destination for artists seeking the highest level of audio quality for their projects.

Throughout his career, Weinberg has been recognized with numerous accolades, including several Grammy nominations and wins for his exceptional contributions to the music industry. He is highly respected by his peers and has been a mentor to many aspiring mastering engineers, passing on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation.

Howie Weinberg's unwavering dedication to his craft and his ability to elevate the sonic experience of countless albums have solidified his position as a true master of his art. His meticulous attention to detail, technical expertise, and passion for music continue to shape the industry and inspire generations of mastering engineers to strive for excellence.


Album Cover Design & Artwork:

Fastner & Larson - Album Artwork


Michael Paras - Photographer

  Michael Paras (Photographer) for the Overkill albums: Years of Decay and Horrorscope

  • Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - Vocals

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

  • Bobby Gustafson - Guitar

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

  • D.D. Verni - Bass

       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".

  • Sid Falck - Drums

       Sid Falck (real-name: Robert Falck) - Drums, played drums in the band "Battlezone" in 1986, before joining "Overkill" in 1987. He left "Overkill" in 1992.

Tracklisting Side One:
  1. Time to Kill 6:16
  2. Elimination 4:34
  3. I Hate 3:48
  4. Nothing to Die For 4:22
  5. Playing With Spiders/Skullkrusher 10:09
  6. Birth of Tension 5:02
  7. Who Tends the Fire 8:09
  8. The Years of Decay 8:01
  9. E.vil N.ever D.ies 5:49

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Learn more