New Jersey’s Overkill will be releasing their 20th studio album titled Scorched in mid April through Nuclear Blast Records.
There is one unique aspect of Scorched being released in April.. That is the time between 2019’s Wings of War and 2023’s Scorched is the longest ever between albums for Overkill. To be more precise time wise, 1512 days or just a little over four years.
The time gap can be directly attributed to the pandemic of 2020. The gift of additional time played in favor for the Garden State thrash band on the ten track Scorched. It allowed the members the luxury of time to record at home.
The foundation of Scorched was in place when the band’s 2020 US Tour came to a screeching halt in Charlotte. A demo of the material was already in the hands of frontman Bobby Blitz.
There is a noticeable difference with the material on Scorched. The songs have elements of maturity, refinement, embellishment and a natural progression is evident. Not all the songs are pure neck breaking trash anthems that Overkill delivers on a consistent basis. Toss in wisdom, violence and melodic energy to balance everything out Overkill wise.
The first single to see the light of day was “The Surgeon,” is one of those intense thrashing tracks. Straight from the hi-hat count off, D.D. Verni’s thick bass kicks in and “The Surgeon” quickly takes off. With precision like a surgeon, Overkill tightly slices through what should become a staple of the band’s set. And “The Surgeon” is just one of the Scorched highlights.
Besides all the thrashing and lethal riffs, there’s more to Scorched. There’s elements of heavy metal one doesn’t anticipate Some may call it a natural progression.
Hidden in Scorched, there’s guitar intros that go back to early days of classic metal. That’s immediately evident with the opening and title track.
A straight forward heavy metal with kicks of Overkill thrash, “Goin Home” follows the title track. The song just happens to be vocalist Blitz’s favorite on the album.
“Twist of the Wick ” would be another mature track with the addition of monk choir undertones and funeral bells tolling. These inclusions take the song to the next level along with the tempo change at this point.
Track five, “Wicked Place” directly follows “Twist of the Wick” is another such track. Cellos conclude the bluesy feeling tune but the track still maintains its integrity, heaviness and aggression.
Other tracks worth noting include “Fever” which once again has a slight bluesy feel. The track also sees Blitz showing off his clean vocal abilities but does utilize his metal voice as well.
All these additional pieces of heavy metal ear candy only enhance and elevate Scorched as a whole. All these elements are finely pieced together with the aggression creating a smooth flowing serious, noteworthy metal record.
With one sincere listen to Scorched as a whole, there is a quick realization. That is, Overkill’s Scorched will be one of the standout albums of 2023.
Overkill’s Scorched will start lighting up the streets whether in vinyl, CD or cassette formats on Friday, April 14 through Nuclear Blast Records.
Watch Blitz’s interview with Brutal Planet Magazine on the upcoming album Scorched.