Sounds of Violence

Written by: EW on 05/03/2011 23:34:05

Alongside Sabbat, Onslaught were Britain's best hope of a genuine thrash success in the 80's following Venom's not inconsiderable helping hand in the genre's birth, before they fell by the wayside like so many others following the usual scene apathy and meddling label interference. Now on second post-reformation album "Sounds of Violence" they have followed the usual path taken by bands of the past returning to revisit former glories: choose the crisp, chunky production techniques that were not available back in 'their day' and let rip, airing all the anger men in their comfortable mid-40s can muster. The result, I'm pleased to say is almost as good as could be expected: plenty new fodder for the live show and an answer to anyone who might've doubted the worth of their reformation.

Anyone who knows me knows I prefer the thrash of the 80s with it's imperfect productions and devastating energy levels. More astonishing than the sheer number of albums that remain great to this day from that period, however, is the differentiation in sound between every noteworthy act of the period. "Rest In Pieces", "Antitheist" and "Godhead" are all blistering thrash tunes here but the resemblances in production to Exodus, Sodom, Kreator, Testament and the rest are undeniable. Until an act take the chance on a radically different sound the classic records of the 80's will forever remain the timeless examples of the genre.

Overcoming this insurmountable hurdle however reveals a fast and heavy record befitting a name like "Sounds of Violence". Sy Keeler has a gravitas about his vocals, shuddering towards hoarse, Chuck Billy-esque death metal growls on repeated occasions while guitarists Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies compliment his performance with the expected speed and precision we've come to expect as par for the course in thrash metal. The album closes with a cover of Motörhead's "Bomber" featuring their very own Phil Campbell making an appearance on guitar; it's frenetic rendition though holds little to the classic original.

Essentially any fan of thrash metal done modern is going to more than appreciate what Onslaught have got here. The naive proto-Satanic appeal of "Power From Hell" is of course no more, but in its place is a more blistering Onslaught taking their place near the top table of thrash.


Download: Antitheist, Godhead
For The Fans Of: Sodom, Testament, Slayer
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 08.01.2011
AFM Records

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