Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 3/6/2007
posted on 3/2007 By:
I’m not going to lie – I’ve never heard Onslaught before. They came and went long before I started listening to metal and nobody I talked to ever said I had to check them out, even knowing what a huge thrash fan I am. After hearing the title track on a local college radio station, I was suddenly angry that nobody had ever told me about them and that I had never bothered to discover them on my own. So now here I sit with my very own, already well-worn promo copy of said album, fully enjoying the return of yet another old-school metal outfit, but also fully understanding why they never enjoyed the comparative success of many of their peers.
You see, Onslaught is not a bad band – far from it. They have the chops, the attitude, the venom-spitting vocals – but if Killing Peace is any indication, they weren’t doing anything that hundreds of bands weren’t already doing and that a few dozen weren’t already doing better. Does that make this, their first album with the original lineup in 20 some-odd years, any less enjoyable? Heck no. This comes off sounding a bit like Destruction might have had they hailed from the Bay Area. Although the result doesn’t quite live up to that, I challenge anyone to not scream along to the title track when vocalist Sy Keeler screams “Spitting blood in the face of god!” Eat your heart out, Glen Benton. In fact, many tracks here have memorable lyrics and vocal hooks, which seem to be as much a staple of the genre as the riffing. “Prayer for the Dead” and “Shock and Awe” both use it well, although the latter uses the speed of the riff while the former goes from a mid-tempo groove into the high-tempo chorus.
While Killing Peace might make for a good case study as to why bands suddenly decide to reform (after two decades of inactivity, what was the impetus?), it also makes for a great listen that any thrash fan would enjoy (unless of course your idea of thrash is Himsa). Their lack of impact in the Eighties is likely more due to the fact that they were competing with the bands that invented and/or revitalized the genre like Kreator and Testament than anything else. That’s a tough race to be in, but there’s nothing wrong with being second-tier.
(Hey, I went through this entire review without once making the obvious joke about the guitar onslaught that this album delivers – damnit, I guess I just couldn’t resist the bad joke after all.)
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