ONSLAUGHT ”Sounds of Violence”

AFM Records – 2011 – United Kingdom

When a music movement that has already reached its outermost point of evolution anyway – in our case, the current retro thrash scene – becomes oversaturated and boring, sometimes it’s the veterans who have to (or should…) show the world what it’s all about.

It’s interesting that the 1980s’ British thrash metal movement never had as much impact on people as the German scene. Let’s not discuss the reasons here, though. In any case, Sodom or Kreator are considered way bigger of an influence than Onslaught. Not to mention the most important bands from the USA. Staying in Europe, while Tom Angelripper or Mille Petrozza just kept on pushing onward with their respective bands, no matter how rugged their path was, their colleagues from Bristol have called it quits in the early 1990s and only reactivated themselves in 2005, so (besides some other factors) this long break may also have something to do with the fact that they couldn’t achieve greater success.

About the comeback album (Killing Peace, 2007), however, I had the feeling that the band wasn’t influenced neither by the above facts nor by the current events of the music world that much. Sounds Of Violence has been written in the same spirit, outright, without any strain and obstinacy. Those who come across the band for the first time should imagine a high explosive mixture of Exodus’ violence and Overkill’s diverse, intelligent song structures, with a modern sound. Born For War, right after the intro, is a god example for this, you can notice some Exodus influence here. Accordingly, rhythms are quite varied within the songs, the whole album is possessed by the intensity and controlled anger of the mature works of the genre. If you ask guitarist Nige Rockett and Co., they would probably say that the new album is even more aggressive and angry than the previous one, which is such an old cliche, of course – but it wouldn’t be without rhyme or reason. Vocalist Sy Keeler proves the truth of it, too. He delivers the standard thrash shouting and roaring (with a distortion effect here and there) and sometimes deeper growls which is particularly effective in the slow, nearly doomy Code Black or in the other extreme, the death metal like Suicideology.

As a bonus track, we’ve got “Bomber” from good old Motörhead here. Nige and the boys didn’t have that much to add to it, they actually play the song in the same rock n’roll vein Lemmy wrote it back them, but it sure does the trick as a little extra track. So, that’s “Sounds Of Violence” for you. Nothing really innovative or surprising – and yet it’s pretty cool just the way it is.

8 / 10

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