The Years of Decay

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The Years of Decay
Studio album by Overkill
Released October 13, 1989 (1989-10-13)[1]
Recorded June–July 1989 at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut
Genre Thrash metal
Length 56:17
Label Atlantic, Megaforce
Producer Overkill, Terry Date, Jon Zazula, Marsha Zazula
Overkill chronology
Under the Influence
The Years of Decay

The Years of Decay is the fourth studio album by thrash metal band Overkill, released on October 13, 1989 through Atlantic and Megaforce Records.[1] This is the last Overkill album to feature guitarist Bobby Gustafson, who left the band after disagreements with bassist D. D. Verni.[2][3]


To date, all songs from The Years of Decay have been played live except "Nothing to Die For".[4] According to frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, the final track, "E.vil N.ever D.ies", is a continuation of the self-titled "Overkill" series of songs from the band's three previous albums, but was not named "Overkill IV";[5] this would be the last song of the series until Immortalis (2007), which features the most recent part in "Overkill V... The Brand".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[6]

AllMusic's Jason Anderson gave The Years of Decay a positive review, awarding it four stars out of five. He called it a "classic by the group's fans" and that it "is often mentioned as the pinnacle of the East Coast thrashers' recording career".[6] The album reached No. 155 on the U.S. Billboard 200[7] and remained on that chart for eight weeks, making it Overkill's fourth highest-charting release to date.[8] As of May 2000 it had sold over 67,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.[9]

In August 2014, Revolver magazine placed the album on its list of "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own".[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Overkill. 

No. Title Length
1. "Time to Kill"   6:16
2. "Elimination"   4:35
3. "I Hate"   3:46
4. "Nothing to Die For"   4:22
5. "Playing with Spiders/Skullkrusher"   10:15
6. "Birth of Tension"   5:04
7. "Who Tends the Fire"   8:12
8. "The Years of Decay"   7:58
9. "E.vil N.ever D.ies"   5:49
Total length:


Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1989 Billboard 200 155[7]


  1. ^ a b "Overkill - Years of Decay CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  2. ^ "Ex-Overkill Axeman Bobby Gustafson Returns To Metal With New Band Response Negative". Metal Rules. May 2003. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  3. ^ David, Leslie (2010-11-15). "Over Kill - Bobby Gustafson". Leslie's metal. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  4. ^ "Songs played by tour: The Years of Decay". Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  5. ^ "OverKill Interview". Metal-Rules. 2003. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  6. ^ a b Anderson, Jason. "The Years of Decay - Overkill". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  7. ^ a b "The Years of Decay - Overkill | Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  8. ^ "Overkill - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  9. ^ "Sludge Scan For May 2000". Metal Sludge. 2000-05-03. Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  10. ^ Popoff, Martin (2014-08-29). "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own". Revolver. NewBay Media. Retrieved 2014-08-30.