Onslaught - "Sounds of Violence" CD Review (AFM Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Onslaught - "Sounds of Violence" CD Review (AFM Records)

Onslaught - 'Sounds of Violence' CD Review (AFM Records)British thrash metal band Onslaught reunited in 2005 and the band’s third post-reunion disc, Sounds of Violence, is due out Feb. 8th on AFM Records. In the ‘great’ Onslaught tradition of making line-up changes with every release, post-reunion members James Hinder and Alan Jordan have been replaced by Jeff Williams and Andy Rosser-Davies.

Onslaught plays old-school, angry thrash in the spirit of Testament and Megadeth and, while this release doesn’t break any new ground, Onslaught does what they do well. The disc starts with “Into the Abyss “, which is a symphonic opener that is punctuated by a military drum beat. This serves as the build-up to the brutally aggressive “Born for War” which is guaranteed to get the pit going. Guitarists Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies alternate between chugging grooves and great non-technical (non-wankery) leads. Steve Grice pummels the double-bass while keeping galloping beat. It has been too many years since I’ve heard The Force (which marked Sy Keeler's debut with Onslaught) so I can’t make a dead-on comparison but Keeler voice’s has held up well over the years. His vocals range from a harsh bark to melodic clean vocals and he doesn’t seem to have lost any of his past force and power.

Lyrically, the band is angry and the dominant lyrical themes seems to be hatred and war. While the band doesn’t go back to the explicitly Satanic lyrics of Power From Hell, a few of the songs (“Children of God” and “Antiheist”) have explicit anti-religious themes.

The disc ends with the aptly titled melancholy piano outro “End Of The Storm (Outro)” before kicking into the bonus track, which is a cover of Motorhead’s “Bomber”. This last track was released as an iTunes single last year with all profits donated to the Help For Heroes charity. The cover version is a straight-forward run-through that features guest appearances from Motorhead’s Phil Campbell and Sodom’s Tom Angelripper.