Album Review – Overkill / Scorched (2023)

One of the pillars of old school Thrash Metal will scorch the earth to the sound of their breathtaking new album.

Recorded at Gear Recording Studio, SKH Recording Studios, JRod Productions and The Recording Company, mixed by Colin Richardson and Chris Clancy at Audioworks Productions, mastered by Maor Appelbaum, and displaying a sick cover art by Travis Smith of Seempieces Design Studio, the breathtaking Scorched, the twentieth studio album by American Thrash Metal masters Overkill, might have had its official release postponed on numerous occasions, but the wait was absolutely worth it. The follow-up to their 2019 album The Wings of War (marking the longest gap between studio albums for the band) is a lecture in old school thrash by frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, bassist D.D. Verni and drummer Jason Bittner, placing it among the best metal albums of the year without a shadow of a doubt.

Strident, piercing guitar ignite the thrashing title-track Scorched, with Bobby attacking our ears with his raspy voice and the song’s wicked lyrics (“Way down deep in the fire / Way down deep in the flame / Way down deep in the hole I dug / Way down Deep in the pain / I’m a flash in your atmosphere / Atomic wind blowing into your night / Crash and burn, let me make it clear / And give ’em just a little light”) in a beyond fantastic start to the album, and Dave and Derek rev up the band’s furious engine with their sick riffage in the circle pit feast titled Goin’ Home, supported by the classic drums by Jason. The Surgeon is another ass-kicking Thrash Metal extravaganza spearheaded by the band’s guitar duo while Bobby’s grim vocals add a considerable share of insanity to the music; whereas Twist of the Wick, one of the most demented songs of the album, will inspire you to crush your damned skull into the mosh pit to the frantic beats by Jason and the rumbling bass by D.D. Needless to say, it should sound superb if played live. And Jason dictates the pace in the neck-breaking tune Wicked Place, sounding utterly groovy while maintaining the band’s heaviness intact.

It’s then time for another visceral, thrashing creation by Overkill titled Won’t Be Comin Back, where Bobby is in total sync with the guitars by Dave and Derek, resulting in an old school Thrash Metal beast overflowing energy and rage, with Jason’s drums being once again spot-on. The ominous bass by D.D. darkens the atmosphere in Fever, being quickly joined by the introspective vocals by Bobby and a lovely Blues-ish vibe; followed by Harder They Fall, offering our ears more of the band’s acid lyrics (“Ice water flowing through his veins / Rumor has it that it comes and goes in waves / The face of fear, baby, he’s your man / With evil inside the heart, he does the best he can / The best he can”) while the music is a flawless, demolishing Thrash Metal feast showcasing all the band’s passion for heavy music, and I’m sure this will become a fan-favorite during their live concerts. Overkill keep the circle pit moving majestically with Know Her Name, an ass-kicking Thrash Metal attack led by Bobby’s evil roars while D.D. and Jason are on fire with their thunderous kitchen, making it impossible not to bang your head like a maniac to such electrifying song; and their last explosion of thrashing sounds, titled Bag o’ Bones, brings forward the band’s characteristic heaviness, rebelliousness and creativity, with Dave, Derek and D.D. adding sheer groove to the music armed with their axes, also showcasing a classic chorus with amazing backing vocals.

This beast of an album, a serious contender for album of the year by the way, is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but as I know you’re a true diehard thrasher you can purchase it from Overkill’s own BandCamp page, or by clicking HERE or HERE. You can also find more details about the band, their tour dates, plans for the future and other nice-to-know details on Facebook and on Instagram, that of course if you don’t follow them already. In a nutshell, Overkill will scorch the earth, scorch our brains, scorch the good and scorch the bad armed with their thrilling new album, setting fire to the entire scene once again, just as we all expect from one of the pillars of our beloved old school Thrash Metal.

Best moments of the album: Scorched, The Surgeon, Twist of the Wick, Harder They Fall and Know Her Name.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Scorched 6:13
2. Goin’ Home 4:31
3. The Surgeon 5:33
4. Twist of the Wick 5:34
5. Wicked Place 5:00
6. Won’t Be Comin Back 4:30
7. Fever 5:33
8. Harder They Fall 4:23
9. Know Her Name 5:11
10. Bag o’ Bones 4:37

Band members
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – vocals
Dave Linsk – lead guitars
Derek Tailer – rhythm guitars
D.D. Verni – bass
Jason Bittner – drums

Guest musician
Michael Romeo – orchestrations


1 thought on “Album Review – Overkill / Scorched (2023)

  1. This album popped up in my app.

    Hadn’t listened to them before, but the album was really good. Scorched has a great opening sequence


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