Overkill Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to a new lesson for the Thrash Metal series! This time I’ve covered another classic one called Overkill, an American thrash metal band formed in 1980 in New Jersey. The only two remaining members from the original line up are Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D. D. Verni (Bass). They are usually defined as “the motorhead of thrash metal”.

    Music Style:
    They are one of the pioneers of Thrash Metal so their music has all the elements that made this genre so popular. That’s why you’ll find this lesson close to the ones based on Metallica, Anthrax, Exodus and Slayer’s style. At the same time, you’ll hear some Motorhead’s vibes on this composition. I tried to capture their classic stuff but also those elements that make them unique.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    If you’ve been following this Thrash Metal series, you surely know which are the favorite scales and tonalities of Thrashers. This lesson mostly based on E minor tonality and the riffs and progressions combine minor Aeolian, Phrygian, Blues scale, and also some chromatic passages. Everything is mixed here is precise quantities to make it interesting and powerful.
    The introduction starts with a Motorhead on steroids riff using A minor pentatonic scale, then the verse is based on E phrygian, the chorus has been build using A blues scale and the solos are based on A minor aeolian. You'll find this stuff detailes in the slow parts.

    This lesson covers both rhythm and solo techniques so you’ll find alternate picking, palm muting, bending, vibrato, legato and also down picking technique. You'll have to be able to switch open power chords to palm muting in a very smooth way, and you also have to be able to go from riffing to lead soloing. The solo section includes really fast picking inspired on their most aggressive solos but also including a melodic section.

    I used LePolin plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommended. The cabinet used for this guitar tone is Lextac which is a Bogner amp emulation and before it a tube screamer emulation. Check out the settings:

    Click HERE to download my Patch.

    I used Cubase to record audio and midi, superior drummer for drums and Trillian for bass.

    Tuning: Standard 440

    Tempo: 140 BPM

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