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Overkill – Scorched Award winner

by Kevin Lewis at 19 May 2023, 5:53 AM

OVERKILL is a five-piece Thrash Metal band formed in 1980. Hailing from New Jersey, they embody the East Coast sound, mixing frenetic, thundering rhythms, powerful riffs, precision lead work, and gritty vocals. Once they have you in their grasp, you can’t escape, not that you would want to anyway. Scorched, their 20th full-length album, was released on April 14, 2023, via Nuclear Blast Records. The opening guitar work on “Scorched” is the kind of awesome intro that just immediately gets you freaking pumped for the rest of the album. It’s a glorious hammer-on that leads to a nice, heavy classic Thrash Metal riff. OVERKILL started this album off right! There are some killer shifts and twists in this song, especially with the bass getting higher in the mix, amplifying the guitar solo, which then loops back to the guitar intro, bringing the song full circle.

Jason Bittner is fantastic on this album. Want a great example? “The Surgeon” is some of his finest work, shifting from blast beats to melodic rhythms using variable foot work. Coupled with DD Verni, this is the epitome of what a rhythm section can do when they have both skill and artistry. One of my favorites on this album is “Wicked Place.” There are a few reasons; the groove to the rhythm, the sliding notes Bobby Blitz uses with that beautiful gritty voice of his, and the opening/closing combination. The fact that opening riff is transformed to a lone cello at the end of the song is a work of art. The fact that the riff fades after that final scream, then morphs into the cello is amazing! Well done, OVERKILL!

Dave and Derek show themselves to be elite guitarists with all of their work on this album, but some of what I like the most is the heavy work they do on “Harder They Fall” after having done some killer choppy/chugging work on “Fever.” The contrast of the riffs on those songs show a fantastic range in how they approach songs. Excellent solos throughout and great work together from start to finish. “Bag O Bones” brings the album to a close with another choppy riff, then shifts to chugging guitar banter mixed with a killer galloping rhythm. One thing that is perfectly obvious when listening to this album is that OVERKILL is not some flash in the pan band. They have been, and will remain, one of the best Thrash Metal bands around. 43 years of existence and a string of bad ass album proves that empirically.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Scorched
2. Goin Home
3. The Surgeon
4. Twist Of The Wick
5. Wicked Place
6. Wont Be Coming Back
7. Fever
8. Harder They Fall
9. Know Her Name
10. Bag O Bones
Bobby Blitz – Vocals
DD Verni – Bass
Jason Bittner – Drums
Dave Linsk – Guitar
Derek Tailer – Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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