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Onslaught - Generation Antichrist Award winner

Generation Antichrist
by Chris Hawkins at 27 July 2020, 5:12 PM

One of the most inspiring aspects of being a lifelong devotee to Heavy Metal is seeing a classic band still throw down.  Formed in 1982, ONSLAUGHT is just such a band.  With such a long and storied history, the English band have now finished their latest, “Generation Antichrist,” a brutally delivered nine tracks of pure rage.  It is sincere, bludgeoning Thrash Metal, a gold standard in dynamic aggression.

Rise to Power” establishes a snug chokehold early on.  The guitar sound is huge, and this two-minute intro serves its purpose by creating an abundance of hype for the beat down to come.  This is followed by “Strike Fast Strike Hard,” a track that goes over the top Stallone style.  This isn’t just heavy, it’s mean.  Having a monstrous guitar sound as such is the foundation for the hearty stew of gut-punching Thrash being concocted here.  The drummer never lets up giving a Hoglan-inspired performance that makes the music slam all that much harder.  The title track is fourth and while the bass drums are being mercilessly decimated with reckless abandon, the riffs are rifled at machine gun-like precision.  ONSLAUGHT isn’t trying to be anything they aren’t but rather have released an album full of songs written with the strengths of the band in mind – rabidly voracious tempos, surprising transitions, and a huge respect for and adherence to the groove.

Having a slick recording like this vitally aids the presentation of the album.  Any fan of classic chugging goodness like PISSING RAZORS, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, and the horde of Thrash bands (like ONSLAUGHT!) that paved the way will dig this beast of a record.  As mentioned, the guitar is tuned down and pummeling but there is a resolute clarity here where the sound never gets flubby and retains its violent veracity throughout.  The latest records from TESTAMENT and METAL CHURCH also provided guitar sounds to obliterate the senses and ONSLAUGHT thankfully followed suit with that more modern approach at the board.  The rhythm section is super tight with an especially prominent bass drum that is the engine for the multi-rhythmic machine that is ONSLAUGHT.  Vocally, they have a guy who can mix up melody and aggression without sounding like he compromised either.  It is a production that will likely be a template for how other bands will want to sound.  It really is that good.

Generation Antichrist” is the most welcome case of unsolicited brutality.  Theirs is a sound that could not exist were it not for their past yet they still make sure to keep up with the times in terms of tone and production.  It is impossible to think of anything negative to say about this – a rare concept indeed!

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  8
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Rise to Power
2. Strike Fast Strike Hard
3. Bow Down to the Clowns
4. Generation Antichrist
5. All Seeing Eye
6. Addicted to the Smell of Death
7. Empires Fall
8. Religiousuicide
David Garnett – Vocals
Wayne Dorman– Lead Guitar
Nige Rockett – Guitar
Jeff Williams – Bass
James Perry – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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