I think we often times neglect genres which we enjoy, which is strange. For example I love a bit of Thrash but I never tend to binge it, nor have I ever considered myself a massive fan despite the fact that there are tons of Thrash albums I just couldn’t be without. Similarly I tend to have the same feelings with Folk Metal, for me it’s kind of like Power Metal, wholesome music and just recently I’ve been digesting a lot of Ensiferum, makes me realise I should pay more attention to these genres.
Enough of me and my ramblings though it’s time to get down with some Thrash from one of my all time favourite UK bands and in fact one of my favourite Thrash bands. The band is of course Onslaught, formed in 1982 the band were soon put on the map with their cult classic Power From Hell record in 1985. This was followed by The Force, an untouchable Thrash gem in my eyes. It also saw the addition of Sy Keeler on vocals who would go on to record a further three records with the band. Alas much like in the days of In Search Of Sanity Sy is taking a step back. So, we have a new era for Onslaught in 2020 as Bull-Riff Stampede vocalist David Garnett takes on the vocal duties. Will it be a good change? Let’s see as we dive into the bands seventh full length Generation Antichrist, put out through AFM Records.
We open with Rise To Power which is full of killer, epic Thrash riffs, it’s a kind of cool introduction especially given the addition of David Garnett. The track slowly ramps up to his vocal debut as he hits with Sodom-like talents. It’s a nice touch but I’d probably have preferred that the vocals were left until the next song. That song being Strike Fast Strike Hard which has a kind of Crossover quality in its chorus and riffs, catchy as hell and all round fun. Refusing to let there be time for filler, Bow Down To The Clowns comes in with further circle pit enduing fury and catchy vocal tones, a top job from Garnett. The title track doesn’t disappoint either, I’ve always loved the Satanic imagery which Onslaught project and this is another song that just seals the deal. It’s surely a song to get your passion burning and have you shouting the lyrics with a fist held high.
Getting through the mid section is All Seeing Eye, perhaps not quite as ear worm worthy as prior tracks but still strong, good lyrical sentiment too. Addicted To The Smell Of Death is sure to get things back on track however. Pure Thrash riffs continue to plough through the mix making way for anthemic portions, this is what Thrash is all about. In a similar vein to Generation Antichrist we get Religiousuicide a track all about speed, ferocity and anti-religion, killer song and one of my favourites from the record. Finally we come to A Perfect Day To Die which was a single in 2019 when Sy was still on vocals. This version however features David and still it packs a good punch, not my favourite from the album but none the less entertaining.
I have to say this album was far more than I expected. A change of vocalist can really ruin a band but in this instance Onslaught have managed to keep afloat. I think this is probably due to the bands adaptability. Whilst they’ve never strayed from Thrash they’ve kept their sound relevant and indeed as the title of the album suggests this record is sure to usher in the new generation, Generation Antichrist! I’m all about this album, it’s got my favourite bits of Thrash, a bit of Crossover, some Sodom/ Kreator vibes and a dose of Slayer. If you’re going to just get into one Thrash record this year, make it count.
(8/10 George Caley)