Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Onslaught VI Dark Agression At Its Best


Onslaught is an intriguing thrash/speed metal band that had enormous potential in the eighties, but through many personnel changes and long delay between albums lost their musical direction. Make no mistake, if you go back to their definitive thrash album, 1985's The Force, you will see why they are spoken in the same breath as Metallica and Slayer. If you are  a fan of Kill' Em All or Ride the Lightning you will get what the The Force brings to the table musically. After that release they lost original bassist turned singer Sy Keeler and replaced him with Grim Reaper's own Steve Grimmett for 1989's release In Search of Sanity. While this is a stellar metal release, and the band's best selling release to date, it sadly strayed away from the thrash roots they set down with The Force.  This coupled with losing the momentum they had gained by taking four years to release the  new album they called it quits in 1991.
Fast forward 14 years to 2005 and Keeler joins founding guitarist Nige Rockettand and together they record the Andy Sneap produced Killing Peace. They followed in 2011 with  Sounds of Violence. These albums were both returns to form but heavier and darker.

The current album VI, is a brutal mad thrashing assault on your senses. The album opens with the short instrumental "A New World Order", but then is quickly followed by the ultra heavy and fast "Chaos Is King". The band says this is the most aggressive song they have ever written. I think it may one of the most aggressive songs I have ever heard. The MVP of the album is drummer Michael Hourihan, and on this song he proves it!  During the verses he is playing so fast that his arms must just be moving in a blur. This song is complete uncompromising thrash, and it is awesome!  Next up is "Fuel for My Fire" which keeps up the aggression but is a little more locked into the guitar riff with some melody. The third song is the experimental "Children of the Sand". Written about the fragile situation in the middle east and how religion effects it. The song offers female back round vocals and a string section to create the sense you are in ancient Persia. This is my personal favorite on the album. Next up are "Slaughterize" which lyrically is on the dark side of metal talking about killing. Definitely more King Diamond than Stryper. "66'Fucking'6" starts off with children's music reminiscent of Accept's "Fast as a Shark" and then is a pounding assault for the next five minutes. The speed picks back up with "Cruci-Fiction", while "Dead Man Walking" is more straight ahead. The last song is "Enemy of My Enemy" which finishes the album off in a fitting fast aggressive form. One listen through and you will be exhausted. This album is a strong recommend particularly if you are in an rude, crude, aggressive mood.

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