OVERKILL - Scorched

April 19, 2023, a year ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Rich Catino

Rating: 8.5

review heavy metal overkill

OVERKILL - Scorched

Forty years, twenty albums, rotten to the core, the mean green killing machine from the Jersey underground and below are back to scorch 2023. They never stopped. Original members and songwriter's DD Verni and his distinctive bass sound and Bobby Blitz with his equally unique voice still joined (over twenty years) by the two-guitar team of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, second album with Jason Bittner on drums. 

Scorched is everything fans would want from Overkill, but the playbook is not a copy from the ‘80s, or the modern ‘90s/2000s groove era. Ironbound kicked off the 2010's with a reinvigorated approach to thrash, remembering who they are from the ‘80s, utilizing the contemporary progression found in the post 2010 albums, while finding new ways to be creative. Like title track album opener, guitar notes, drums and bass come together building an energy before launching into the attack and mid-tempo verse. Something Overkill are good for. But then things get faster, and back to another rhythmic change with frantic guitar leads. Pre-solo slows down and the solo section even gets a little prog. An arrangement of surprises, and damn are those drums busy (love the big sound), all without losing the melody and chorus.

"Goin Home" again not a thrash riff to start that settles in the rhythm pocket right into the hook, catchy. First single "The Surgeon" a tried-and-true banger that let's everyone know Overkill still is the real deal wrecking crew. Great power and swift gallop to barn burner "Twist Of The Wick", a punchy romp to "Wicked Place" that allows room for Blitz's vocal lines to land and melodic guitar accents.

Sabbath-y begun "We Won't Be Coming Back" keeps things loose in the rhythm with the bass and guitar lines doing a little jam, and "Fever" fades in melodic, dark like something off The Killing Kind album with Ellsworth singing on verses then back to that snarl.  "Harder They Fall" punches back with double bass and drive, a catchy riff for "Know Her Name" should have been used a couple more times. The directness, minimalism (i.e.; Feel The Fire, Taking Over) is because there is a lot going on within each song, changes.

You can't go wrong with the last six albums; Overkill stays true to who they are while trying new ideas.

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