Review Date: August 2020
Label: AFM Records
There are a few 80’s bands that have had a career resurgence later in life and Onslaught certainly meets that category. The band after their comeback churned out three killer, thrash albums in six years, faster and heavier than the band has ever been. Then the band lost a touch of momentum. The band has lost three members in the intervening years including vocalist Sy Keeler. Fortunately the label still has their back and AFM has put out their 7thalbum GENERATION ANTICHRIST.
The band have stripped away anything even resembling fat and have put out their shortest album to date; just under 38 minutes long. The production is robust, and crystal clear. The album cover is kinda dull but at least they have kept the classic font/logo. Man this album is heavy, bordering on Deaththrash. It is relentless and fast the whole way through. There is not much breathing room, which is a good thing for a thrash album. The new vocalist, a relatively unknown guy, David Garnett, has got some killer pipes. He just sounds mean and in fact the whole band does. It is as if mainman, Nige had something to prove after the hiatus. There seems to be a bit of religious lyrical theme across the album, but it is not too heavy-handed. I’m not sure if it is a case of old dog, new tricks, or just that they new guys put the fire back in the belly, but GENERATION ANTICHRIST just rips.
To me, and I don’t know why, Onslaught reminds me of Exodus, not necessarily musically but in terms of career arc. A legendary singer, major label glimpse of fame, getting dropped, a comeback, long gaps between records, the return of an old singer, and then a string of albums that are crushingly heavy, arguably faster and heavier than anything the band (either of them) did in their glory days of the 80’s. When are people going to stop living in the past? This new Onslaught album is as good or better than anything the band ever did but the weight of nostalgia and being a heritage act can a heavy cross to bear. Set all that analytical crap aside and check out what Onslaught is doing in 2020. You will be blown away.