Album Review: Overkill – Scorched

Album Review: Overkill - Scorched
Reviewed by Matthew Williams

There have many calls and debates over the years about the Big 4 of thrash, and which bands should or shouldn’t be in it. Death Angel, Testament, Exodus, are all still producing thrash albums of the highest quality, but the one band who always cause the most intrigue is Overkill, who have produced consistently superb albums throughout their illustrious career.

I remember being a wide eyes teenager in the late 80’s and seeing the video to 'Hello from the Gutter' for the first time, and I was hooked! The vocals, the riffs, the drums, were all just sublime and it’s still one of my favourite thrash songs, but, in my humble opinion, they never really dominated quite like they should have done.

And here we are, as Overkill are set to release their 20th (really, that many?) studio album, 'Scorched' and it only heightens the calls for them to be included or at least remembered, as one of thrash metals finest bands. This album is more mature, more refined and embellished with hints of more than just thrash metal, as it’s got a hell of a lot of melody on it. And when you hear the opening song 'Scorched' it’s got everything that you associate Overkill with, amazing riffs, trademark Blitz vocals and heavy as F**k!

Album Review: Overkill - Scorched

'Scorched' has taken around 2 and a half years to reach completion, with the pandemic provoking both inspiration, and the ability to move through the album making process with ease and lack of pressure. As Blitz commented, “It was a whirlwind” and it reflects a wide spectrum of emotions, but it has nonetheless, produced some amazing songs. Listening to 'Goin' Home' which shows new intent for the band, with its brilliant melody, and the aggressive bass line from DD Verni on 'The Surgeon' and the ferocious guitar work from Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer on 'Twist of the Wick' and the intense drumming throughout from Jason Bittner, particularly on my favourite track, 'Harder They Fall', proves that Overkill are back, and back with a vengeance.

The new elements to their music, show their face on 'Wicked Place' and 'Fever', as they both have bluesy elements to them to give them that old school Rock n` Roll feel, but still maintaining that unique Overkill sound. At this point in their careers, they wanted to do something different on this album and they’ve achieved this fairly effortlessly, which shows what a class act they truly are.

They end the album with 'Know Her Name' and 'Bag o` Bones' which once again proves not only how majestic this band are, but this is album full of high octane thrash, with the messiah like Blitz vocals carrying the band to even greater heights. This is definitely an album that you won’t put down for a while, stunning from start to finish.

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