Scrawl from The Saw’s Butcher Shop: Overkill —Scorched (2023) ALBUM REVIEW

Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! Ya Girl has had Scorched, the new album from Overkill, on repeat for a week! The band’s 20th studio album was released on April 14, 2023 (Nuclear Blast) and it is an absolute Thrash Metal banger! Overkill are one of the most consistent bands in all of Metal – 20 studio albums in 43 years – and this new release consistently whoops your ass from open to close.

Overkill have always prided themselves on the fact that they are not a “packed stadium” kind of band. Their delivery has always been gritty, riff generated, punk/blues infused, roll-over-you, Metal. Bobby Blitz’s voice, delivery technique, and timing are unchanging and just as consistent as the other instruments of the band. Once again, as we have discussed many times on recent new releases, Scorched is a product of the Pandemic, and the extra time and attention is definitely heard on the record.

The first thing I noticed about the sound of this record is its great production and mix. Today’s technology really pulls-out the mastery of the instruments and vocals. The second thing as I listened through the album is the driving bass-work of D.D. Verni. His bass has an incredible tone! And is clearly demarked on Scorched. The weight of the bass is the glue that holds all these tracks together (like Harris’ bass playing on ANY Iron Maiden song). The interesting thing about this is the fact that it frees up Linsk (lead guitar) and Tailer (rhythm guitar) to really showcase what they can do. I mean, once again, THE RIFF is the key to this entire album, but everything is held down by the bass tracks.

The next thing worth mentioning is the drumming of Jason Bittner (ex-Shadows Fall). On 2019’s Wings of War, Bittner was awesome, of course. But his playing didn’t quite blend with the rest of the band. On Scorched, his second album with Overkill, his brilliant abilities are on time and directly over the target. Extreme drumming has always been a key factor in Thrash Metal, but a premier drummer like (the award winning) Bittner, can really make a band hit on all cylinders. And, finally, layered over all the beefy riffs and meaty drive of the rhythm section is the simply devastating vocals of Bobby Blitz. Like its another instrument, his voice is a perfect compliment to the band. Again, its always been that way, but his timing, lyrical genius, and range are really brought out on Scorched. His is one of the best (clean) voices I have ever heard.

The new album is quite eclectic when it comes to the songs themselves. Some tracks – like “Goin’ Home,” “Fever,” and “Harder They Fall” – are pure 80s Thrash, but with extra weight and blistering drum-work. Other songs – like “The Surgeon,” “Wicked Place,” and “Know Her Name” – are certainly Thrash influenced, but have a modern feel; with crushing riffs and great structure. And “Bag o’ Bones” stands alone in that it consists of all of Overkills influences – Rock, Blues, and Punk – in one track. Great story-telling with a huge chorus on this one.

Scorched is 51 minutes of excellent song writing and execution:

  1. Scorched
  2. Goin’ Home
  3. The Surgeon
  4. Twist of the Wick
  5. Wicked Place
  6. Won’t Be Comin Back
  7. Fever
  8. Harder They Fall
  9. Know Her Name
  10. Bag o’ Bones

Rating: 10/10!! Great production and song writing! The Riff, and Bobby Blitz’s deranged vocals!

Favorite songs: The Surgeon, Twist of the Wick, Wicked Place

Stay Metal,