Review by Richard Henry for MPM
How is this album 20 already? I mean the output of this band from the inception; can it really be rivaled by any of the other thrash bands?? Same lineup now since 2017s Grinding wheel, so let’s see what this new piece of thrash mastery is like!
Track 1 – Scorched
That is a beautiful guitar sound, open stringed pull off intro before boom, which the church bells peppering the guitar and the drum fills flying around, then into the double bass, when we hit the verse it comes down to a driving drum groove just plodding menacingly before in the prechorus we go double time and then the kicks come in again, huge sing along chorus part, that’s grinding riff right after the chorus and straight into a solo, the breakdown riff after second chorus, nice, before we hit a slow Sabbath style riff for the middle 8 of the song, great bass tone by the way as we get to hear under the second solo, Geezer Butler style, holding it down and really playing over it as well, great solo into the opening guitar figure then back into the chorus with the drums picking up the intensity!
Track 2 – Goin Home
Heavy slow riff on one side and a sliding octave figure played on the other as the bass and drums hit every four, this is a slow double bass slammer of a track, just menacing groove, before it picks up to a mid-tempo rocker, the tones are just so sharp on this, yessssssssss, that pick up when it hits full on thrash tempo, love it, Bobby soaring on the chorus, there are some great drumming parts and fills on this and I haven’t even hit the second chorus yet, lovely middle section with the gang vocals and then Blitz climbing up on his vocal intensity as well, another great solo hits as the tempo shifts up as well, great track, that chorus will stick with you as well!
Track 3 – The Surgeon
Four on the high hat and a dirty bass intro then straight into thrash territory, before we hit the verse when it goes more half time and a real spitting vocal delivery, fast and aggressive, I am the Surgeon in the chorus, you know that the crowd is going to be singing along with that part, great drum groove just before you hit the chorus again, a crunchy half time section, great riff and you can hear that bass all over it, just nasty sounding, then the double bass hits just before we stop right into a slow grind section in the middle of the song, that’s a slidy riff there in the middle with the drums playing a slow double bass part following it, another great solo follows, bit of shredding but peppered with some nice bluesy figures in there are as well as the intensity keeps building before a drum fill right into that chorus!
Track 4 – Twist of the Wick
A slow droning guitar intro with a melody part being played over it, that would be a great intro to a gig before the band kicks onto the stage, and its way up-tempo when the band does come in, no letup in the tempo with double bass is just in out and doesn’t let up until we get a reprieve just after the chorus when Bobby really sounds majestic, then is that a blast beat I hear Mr. Bittner, I think so before we are right back into the intensity again, this is a belter of a track and I’m not even halfway, mid-section it drops in tempo and we have almost a monk chant over that riff with tubular bells in the background as well, really builds up the atmosphere, then when the solos hit the tempo goes up again, it doesn’t let up, what a track!
Track 5 – Wicked Place
This really reminds me of an Iced Earth song, just the intro before we hit what can only be described as a thrash metal shuffle, it’s a mid-tempo track for sure, and then when we hit the chorus, it slows again, and we are out of the chorus and into a short solo before we hit another verse chorus, the mid-section goes into a real power metal riff with the double kicks coming back, there is masses of melody in this section as well as a more aggressive feel, into another solo, different feel for sure but I love this track!
Track 6 – Won’t Be Coming Back
Now if this doesn’t remind you of Holy Diver by Dio, that groove and especially the bass sound, I love that guitar figure around the vocal in the verse, that is so cool, this is more an up-tempo rocker of a song that isn’t so much thrash but it’s like a mix of a traditional metal song with maybe a Gamma Ray or Helloween style chorus, I absolutely love it, the way that guitar figure comes back in the middle with the bass following it, so well done, great solo, then back into that chorus, what a track!
Track 7 – Fever
Bass intro and clean guitars to start this one, Bobby just shows how dynamic a vocalist he is, some really subtle inflections on this, and when this one hit’s, it’s really detuned, sludgy Sabbath style, before it goes back out into the atmospheric verse, it’s like a truck when that chorus comes in, Jesus that’s heavy, yeah that is a cowbell I hear, the shuffle is back, nice change of pace in this middle section and it splits up the song nicely, nice drum work peppering in between the riffs, never taking away from the track but nicely fitted in, really bluesy solo on this with a bit of Billy Gibbons vibe in there, really cool, then picking up with a double bass groove until the end of the track!
Track 8 – Harder They Fall
The tempo is cranked for this one, and we are in proper thrash tempo for the verse, with it rattling along at high speed, love it, has a proper old school vibe to this one, that chorus is killer with an almost NYHC vibe to the vocals being shouted behind Bobbys main vocal, we only really come down in tempo very slightly for the middle section of the song and then it kicks up again as we launch into the solo sections, the way the tempos are shifting from backbeat and then changing are really well done and then we are back into the chorus again, really high energy track!
Track 9 – Know Her Name
That’s a driving riff right there, mid speed double bass and again the bass is so prominent in it, this is more a traditional metal track in the verse than a thrash track, I mean it sounds like a love track until you hear the second line of the chorus, ah class, nice bass break in the middle section, splitting up the song and adding a lot of double bass under that riff, it’s a really well put together track with all the different elements complimenting each other, now that’s a scream in the middle of this one before we have another tempo shift into the solo, great track!
Track 10 – Bag O Bones
That’s a really cool riff with the drums following around with it before they change it to a groove over the riff, yet again, massively bass heavy, really driving this one, great syncopated riff on this before we hit a massive chorus, it’s almost a proper singalong, nearly like a rap vocal in delivery on the second verse, that middle section will have the heads moving in the pit, class riff, then the tempo picks up with the humpty dumpty bit, you will know when you hear it, and then into another great solo!
Has to be 10 out of 10
This many albums in and to be this consistent, there isn’t a bad track on this album, just solid from start to finish, these guys just deliver on all fronts, from songwriting to musicianship its all on display on this album!
OVERKILL will be hitting our UK soil this year, for a performance at Manorfest, taking place from 26-28th May. Tickets are available here: https://manorfest.org/
Listen to ‘The Surgeon‘ on all streaming platforms: https://bfan.link/Overkill-TheSurgeon
Pre-order your copy of Scorched here: https://bfan.link/Overkill-Scorched
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass
Dave Linsk – Lead Guitar
Derek Tailer – Rhythm Guitar
Jason Bittner – Drums
Tour Dates: https://bnds.us/ve4s30