Released: 2007, Candlelight Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
No doubts, assumable one of the most anticipated comebacks of some certain Thrash Metal band, must be Onslaught´s comeback, especially for many of us so-called old Thrash Metal -farts anyway. The band split up for years in January 1991 ´til reunited in the end of 2004, having 4 original members back in the line-up. And since then things just started rolling very naturally for the Onslaught again, one thing leading to another.
Here we are in 2007, and a long-lasting peace has finally been killed by the new Onslaught album, 4th in order, named by kind of an appropriate title KILLING PEACE. Before diving any deeper into KILLING PEACE, at first I just wanna mention that I had already heard a couple of songs from this new album (the title track “Killing Peace” and “Destroyer of Worlds” that are) in advance last year when the band thrashed intensely straight through the hearts of the Finnish Onslaught -fans at Jalometalli Open Air Metal Festival (in Oulu, Finland) in the mid of August 2006. The band was in a convincing enough live shape, and yes, those two new songs did make a promise about a worth waiting comeback album. So, a big question is: Was it worth waiting?
KILLING PEACE starts off with a raging Thrash Metal -number, “Burn”. It´s in-yer-face, punishing as hell, old school sounding and all that, but instead of sounding Onslaught the way we all remember them sounding on THE FORCE (the only album from them having Sy Keeler on vocals), Onslaught sounds somewhat like... Exodus on SHOVEL?! Whatta H***??! What on earth has happened to them?! Ok, let´s move on and try next track which happens to be the title track of the album, “Killing Peace”. Hmmm... a frenzy and violent assault of thrashing riffs are churned out in the air and... I don´t know why Exodus´ name is haunting me constantly, but I dare to claim there´s a somewhat huge Exodus -vibe in this song, too. Even if I really happen to like how “Killing Peace” sounds like musically with its familiar old school Thrash –vibes and spirits and all that, it still somehow disturbs me at the same time due to its strong musical connections to some Exodus´ latest material. Not that I wouldn´t like Exodus - they are great ; always been a great Thrash Metal band for me since the beginning, but Onslaught should sound like from themselves - and not like Exodus, right?! Did someone expect something along the lines of the band´s brilliant THE FORCE album? At least I did, don´t know about you.
Uh, moving on next to “Destroyer of Worlds”, it starts off with a spoken intro, and then bursting soon towards some heavy battle fields where powerful Thrash -riffs dominate the ground pretty well below your feet. This is a fuckin´ Thrash-tastic song even if what disturbs me slightly this time again is how Sy Keeler manages to sound a bit like David Wayne (Metal Church) in this song. Nonetheless, the song itself is cool as hell; really heavy, thrashy and certainly something that will appeal many Thrash Metal fanatics, do doubts!
“Pain” comes off as a nicely thrashing and catchy tune as well, and there´s simply nothing there in that song that could remind a listener of the past Onslaught albums. I mean, nothing... Throw Exodus´ name high in the air in comparison to this tune again because that´s how it does sound like... sounding shamelessly like Exodus. Am I listening to a wrong album here instead of Onslaught´s comeback album? I´m afraid I´m not...
“Prayer for the Dead” is another very cool sounding face smasher from the Onslaught -camp. The only problem, however – once again is, it doesn´t sound anything like Onslaught has done before, but I guess we all already knew that without even mentioning this, didn´t we?
“Tested to Destruction”. Uh, a couple of nice riffs here and there, but otherwise the song isn´t really going anywhere. It´s like... meh! Just skip it.
In “Twisted Jesus” ´Thrash is the name of the fucking game´, and a listener gets what it deserves. An intense amount of true thrashing is present throughout the whole song even if it´s gotta be said that the song gets pretty tedious toward the end. Nevertheless, good song all in all - the guys know how to thrash and that´s all that should count after all.
More Exodus -worshipping going on in “Planting Seeds of Hate (didn´t Exodus have a song called “Seeds of Hate”?)”. Oh well, I guess we all should accept this as a fact that Onslaught has chosen this path on KILLING PEACE instead of re-finding their own rewarding path (ála THE FORCE) back for themselves again. The formula - or the way how Exodus punishes their fans by aggressive, old school Thrash, naturally appeals many, but seriously do we really need another band that copycats their sound? Uh, I just don´t think so...
“Shock ´n´ Awe” is ´balls-to-the-fuckin´-wall´ Thrash at its meanest form: Fast, violent and brutal, played the way Thrash Metal should serve their listeners in the first place; nothing more - nothing less, just mercilessly bashing your teeth back your throat.
With mixed mind and feelings it needs to be confessed that I quite didn´t expect this type of an album from Onslaught. In fact, to be shamelessly sincere with all of you, I certainly expected a bit more along the lines of their classic THE FORCE album from these British Thrash -veterans. With KILLING PEACE Onslaught basically only proved they still do know how to deliver, but keeping in our minds how much it was hyped Onslaught´s REAL comeback album in advance from every possible direction, this album left me slightly disappointed due to not introducing Onslaught as that band that they used to be back in the day. Maybe they should stop listening to Exodus with that sharp ears from this moment on, and start concentrating on their own material instead of Exodus´ when they are about to record their next album. Anyway, whether they will find their own sound formula ála THE FORCE back for themselves in the future again or not, that remains to be seen...