Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Onslaught-The Sounds Of Violence

AFM Records 2011

As some of you may know Onslaught started out as a hardcore band back in the earlier 80's. Over the years the band's sound morphed into something more metallic in nature. Starting with a Venom/Motorhead sound (Power From Hell) the band moved to move melodic technical metal (In Search Of Sanity) and finally into thrash (Killing Peace). I guess you could say the group had an identity crisis while searching for their sound. On their 5th album Sounds Of Violence they find what they were looking for. Produced by Jacob Hansen (Mercenary,Volbeat, Heaven Shall Burn) Sounds Of Violence is an album chuck full of piss and vinegar thrash. Lead by founding members Nige Rockitt(guitar) and Steve Grice (drums) the group also includes vocalist Sy Keeler, guitarist Andy Rosser-Davies and bass player Jeff Williams. Starting off with the intro track "Into The Abyss" (a shorter number under 2 minutes in length) the British legends
Onslaught set the tone with a marching battle sound before launching into "Born For War" a Slayerish thrash attack. "The Sound Of Violence" has an old school Exodus vibe going for it while "Code Black" reminded me of later day Sodom. Make no mistake this is thrash at is finest. "Rest In Pieces" is a furious face plant as is "Godhead". "Hatebox" is brutal and continues the Slayer vibe. "Antiheist" is ugly street thrash with some technical thrash throw in for good measure and "Suicideology" offers up some Sepultura death/thrash. The outro track "Eye Of The Storm" breaks things up with a short piano interlude before the group finishes off the disc with a cover of the Motorhead classic "Bomber" (featuring guest appearances from Motorhead's "Filthy" Phil Campbell and Sodom's Tom Angelripper). Overall this is a tremendous thrash record from these U.K. greats. My only gripe with them would be their continuing infatuation with satanic lyrics. At times it makes the album feel cheesy the way early Venom does. It just seems too many band's take the easy way out with over the top "Hail Satan" lyrics instead of trying for something a little more deeper and meaningful. A minor complaint I know but for me I love my thrash bands singing about war and politics and not a prince of darkness love fest. Besides that observation this is one killer release and another good sign pointing toward 2011 being a great year for thrash metal.


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