Overkill – Scorched (Nuclear Blast)

Friday, 14th April 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Rarely will you hear a metal career reach twenty studio albums – but that’s the case with Overkill at this point in time for Scorched. The veteran green and black attack continue to combine a love of punk, thrash as well as groove metal influences – yet never forgetting to inject the proceedings with some sure fire classic/traditional elements to keep things spicy. Quality performances beyond astute understanding of what keeps the legions returning for more isn’t in question – it’s more about taking the time to capture the essential finesse, energy, tenacious delivery that these blue-collar musicians create in all the right spots. And you’ll get a whole lot to cheer about in these ten cuts as this is another dependable iron clad product.

The circular lead break against a tribal rhythm/bell-laden sequence soon gives way to the charging electric cavalcade and distinctive Blitz sneer for the title track. Drummer Jason Bittner shifts between powerhouse double kick flourishes, nifty cymbal/snare progressing timing measures and comfortable groove-laden mechanics sure to ignite pits of fury while bassist D.D. Verni executes some Harris-like bass fluidity in the longer instrumental section. First single “The Surgeon” seemed quite obvious as a proper preview of what to expect, the riffs/tempo matching in that gallop to comfortable transition roller coaster we’ve all come to love – the gang background vocal support and sinister doom twist sure to take your head on that alternate universe trip. Never neglectful of those early 80’s roots that shaped their style, “Won’t Be Coming Back” contains aspects of Dio, Iron Maiden, and Twisted Sister while Bobby uses all facets of his multi-dimensional voice to bring the lyrics home. The crunchy passages of “Know Her Name” possess that redline continuity that Overkill has delivered since the 80’s, while closer “Bag o’ Bones” is another that grabs you by the neck through swinging tempos and catchy riff/lead break action that could be a favorite of many.

Time will tell where Scorched slots in the discography of Overkill as far as mandatory versus solid overtures – rest assured though that these gentlemen still have plenty of vivid sparks to set ablaze as they get ready to tour behind this record from continent to continent.

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