Overkill - Scorched
Nuclear Blast
Thrash Metal
10 songs (51:05)
Release year: 2023
Overkill, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

It's time for the thrash metal event of the year, arguably the genre's finest band coming back with another gem on what is possibly the greatest run they've made since the 80s! Scorched now makes it twenty albums that New York's finest have produced, painting the town green and black anew, and as expected it continues the high levels of quality we've come to expect. With the same line-up from 2019's Wings of War and a possibly even more keen-edged songwriting blade, Overkill are here to pronounce domination anew. Metalli-who?

Yeah yeah, it's an easy joke to make at James' and co's expense, sure. Yet comparing and contrasting Scorched with a certain other big thrash release out on the same date, it's hard not to love the New Yorkers all the more. From the opening title track onwards Overkill are simply on fire, intense and driving riffs with plenty of lead widdling from guitarists Linsk and Tailer. Bobby Blitz remains a stomping, sneering, storytelling frontman par excellence, ably spitting out lyrics like a man half his age and giving the likes of Goin' Home an epic flair. The Surgeon especially pushes the boat out as he ups the tempo in the verses and slows it down for the blood-drenched chorus, the rest of the band following with a touch of almost southern groove before returning to speed for guitar soloing galore.

It's remarkable, really, to think that Overkill have been going for over forty years now and can still write a song as good as Twist of the Wick, memorable and focused in its hooks and riffs, switching between thrash and dark heavy metal (complete with gothic choir!) like some alt-universe version of Iron Maiden at points. The high-in-the-mix basslines are another solid link to Harris & colleagues, aiding the meatiness of the sound with an already great Colin Richardson mix. And the band continue to surprise, the added orchestration (courtesy of Symphony X's Michael Romeo) on Wicked Place adding a little extra drama, as well as the almost Dio-esque opening to Won't Be Comin' Back which turns towards the punk metal thereafter.

Perhaps for once we can thank Covid for encouraging a little slower of a release schedule and allowing songs to be worked over a little more? Even without, say, the mammoth semi-ballad of Fever, half Sabbathian melodrama and half crushing sludge metal workout (those bass lines seamlessly switching to feel more like Crowbar than Maiden) this would be a remarkably great album from a band that many continue to write off based on their name alone. The sheer smoothness in the songwriting of even late-album cuts like Know Her Name or Bag o'Bones is excellent, with enough interesting riffs and clear hooks to distinguish the two songs from each other. Waiting a little longer for a new album was worth it; Scorched lives up to its name.

Killing Songs :
Scorched, The Surgeon, Twist of the Wick, Won't Be Comin' Back, Fever
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Overkill that we have reviewed:
Overkill - The Killing Kind reviewed by Ben and quoted 80 / 100
Overkill - Wrecking Your Neck reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Overkill - From The Underground And Below reviewed by Ben and quoted 77 / 100
Overkill - W.F.O. reviewed by Ben and quoted 85 / 100
Overkill - The Wings of War reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
To see all 19 reviews click here
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