Overkill, Scorched (Nuclear Blast 2023)

Thrash legends Overkill begin a new campaign with their 20th album, Scorched.

It is difficult to reckon twenty albums. That is an enormous amount of music. Since 1980, the band has been producing some of the best, most memorable heavy music in the universe. Classic albums like Under The Influence (1988), Years Of Decay (1989), and Horrorscope (1991) are revered by fans and contemporaries, and, in more recent years, records such as The Electric Age (2012), The Grinding Wheel (2017), and The Wings Of War (2019) have brought Overkill well-deserved renewed attention. The band is Bobby Ellsworth (vocals), D. D. Verni (bass), Dave Linsk (guitar), Derek Tailer (guitar), and Jason Bittner (drums).

The latest ten pack starts out with the title track, and “Scorched” is a banger. It opens with a build like a Savatage song, kicking in and hitting hard with a rampant, penetrating percussion. I felt an energy like that on The Electric Age album here, and that is a good thing. There are several tempo changes during the song and a couple of killer lead breaks. Excellent. “Goin’ Home” offers a dramatic opening, too, but a more linear execution. When we get to “The Surgeon,” the speed really starts to kick in. “Twist of the Wick” careens at a dizzying pace, too, and tips its hat to Dio in the process. Other stand-out tracks for me are “Fever,” despite its lower register, and the big closer, “Bag O’ Bones,” a song that cooks and conjures and brings a singability to the thrash. The crowd will get into this one live, mark my words.

I have been a fan from day one, and I like every album they have released. I would match the new record up against any in the last ten years and it would be tough to say which I liked best. The thrash is free-from, with solid riffs and ripping shreds. Clever compositions allow for grooves now and then, and a number of homages to well-known styles. This is another great Overkill album. Highly recommended.

Scorched is out now on Nuclear Blast Records. Choose your poison at the links below.

Band photos by Wayne Edwards.


Overkill website, http://wreckingcrew.com/

Bandcamp, https://overkillmetal.bandcamp.com/album/scorched

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew/

Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/overkill-scorched.html

© Wayne Edwards

Overkill, Scorched (Nuclear Blast 2023)