Destruction/Onslaught – 17th November 2007
The Underworld, Camden
All live pics and review by HannTu
A night of old school thrash, with the re-formed veterans from Bristol, Onslaught touring in support of their recent album KILLING PEACE, and the German legends of thrash, Destruction – what more could you ask for? A night with glamour model Jordan and a lifetime supply of beer, but I digress…
The young thrash band from Stoke appear to be making more than a ripple in the sea of young unsigned metal bands plying their trade in the UK. They have toured with Saxon and Cradle of Filth, and have only just finished a Russian tour with Vader, Rotting Christ, Krisiun and Incantation a couple of months ago. They play a blistering incarnation of old school thrash, very in keeping with the mood of the evening. The vocalist’s monotonous bark reminded me of Meshuggah for some reason, but the rest of the music was hell-bent on playing it fast and loud. Very surprisingly, they were remarkably tight, stopping and starting on a dime. With a bit more variation in their material and sound, who knows where they could be in a couple of years? A great start to the evening, although the meagre crowd didn’t seem to think so, with scattered applause and barely any headbanging. Maybe they were saving their necks for Onslaught and Destruction, which in retrospect was a smart thing to do.
The best performance of the night, the old timers showed us how to rock out with passion and aggression and an undeniable good sense of fun. I saw them open for Obituary earlier this year where again they eclipsed the headliners, perhaps they like being second-billed so that they can kick headliners’ arses. Anyway, they came out snarling and raring to go. Singer Sy Keeler was in especially fine form, with an absolute and practised understanding of how to whip up the crowd to greater heights. The band itself was musically flawless, but the sound was amazing, considering my past experiences with sound quality in the Underworld. Floppy haired Al Jordan on guitar blazed away at solos and looked remarkably happy to be doing so, while the grim figure of Nige Rockett on rhythm guitar looked less happy but thrashed harder, if possible.
Re-forming bands seems to be the fashionable thing nowadays, but Onslaught look to be in it for the long run. Re-formed in 2005, putting out an album early this year (which by the way is pretty damn good!) and touring incessantly in support of it shows a commitment to continue making good thrash. Taking advantage of the thrash revival in the past 2 years? Perhaps. But who cares, as long as it’s good. Prepare for the Onslaught!!!
One of the Holy Trinity of German thrash, if we had to put names to the team sheet, I’d say Destruction would have to be the Father, Sodom the Son, and Kreator the Holy Goat. Damned be thy name¦Anyway, leaving aside all that witty crap, Ive been dying to see Destruction ever since I missed out on seeing them at Wacken this year (choosing Norther instead, which I didn’t regret anyway). However, they did not make a very auspicious start, coming out to sound problems and very bad feedback from microphone and monitor which annoyed Schmier visibly. Now, Schmier is a man you do not want to annoy. Leaving aside the fact that he looks about 8 feet tall, he’s also got a massive flying V bass (Is it a German thing? Kreator’s bassist has a flying V as well) that he wields with consummate ease, hefting it about like it were a jar of marmalade. No, you don’t want to piss him off, and I’m sure zee lazee Eeenglish incompetence has upset mein German efficiency was what he was thinking as he gave the sound man a right bollocking.
I’m sure that upset their rhythm somewhat, because the first few songs were somewhat subdued. Not that the crowd noticed though, they were positively rabid. But after about three or four songs, the band visibly picked up the energy from the small crowd and coupled with a few Schmier pleasantries which were very well-received, the temperature started rising.
The set list itself was predominantly from the early albums. Old favourites like Curse the Gods and Mad Butcher made early appearances, with the fist pumping Nailed to the Cross a highlight of the evening. Tormentor, Soul Collector, Bestial Invasion, they were all there. Good setlist indeed. Surprisingly though, Deposition and Profanity from THRASH ANTHEMS were not played.
Hopefully Destruction will write some new stuff instead of re-releasing and re-recording their old material. Their latest compilation/re-recording THRASH ANTHEMS is good but not as satisfying as a full-scale, all-new thrash album that only the gods of German thrash can produce.
1. Curse The Gods
2. Nailed To The Cross
3. Mad Butcher
4. Eternal Ban
5. Life Without Sense
6. The Defiance Will Remain
7. Death Trap/Cracked
8. Thrash Til Death
9. Tears of Blood/Antichrist/Release from Agony Medley
11. Desecrators/Invincible Force
12. Soul Collector
13. Total Desaster 2000
14. Bestial Invasion
15. The Butcher Strikes Back