A pivotal part of America's East Coast heavy metal scene of the 1980s, Overkill was the first thrash band signed to a major label. The band formed in 1980 in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, and released the debut album Feel the Fire in 1985. Despite not receiving the acclaim of the 'big four' metal acts of the era (Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, and Metallica), Overkill signed with Atlantic Records in 1986 and went on to release the influential, landmark albums Taking Over (1987), The Years of Decay (1989), and Horrorscope (1991), all of which were widely admired for their breakneck speed and anarchic theatrics. The birth of grunge during the 1990s made metal highly unfashionable, and the band left Atlantic's roster halfway through the decade. Even so, Overkill sustained its loyal underground following, continued to release new material, and enjoyed a comeback of sorts with its 2010 album, Ironbound, which reached Number 31 in Germany and Number 192 in America. 2014's White Devil Armory even charted at Number 31 on the Billboard 200, giving the band its first Top 40 hit in America after more than three decades of existence. 2017's The Grinding Wheel, 2o19's The Wings of War, and 2023's Scorched all followed.