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Onslaught - Live At The Slaughterhouse (2016)

Live At The Slaughterhouse (2016)
by V.Srikar at 28 February 2016, 12:04 PM

I came across ONSLAUGHT for the 1st time with their 2013 full length album “VI”, and the whole album simply blew me away, for the sheer aggression and hair lifting riffs. I then went on to dig their previous album “Sound of Violence”, and I pretty much liked that as well. But for some reason, mostly due to me being lazy, I didn’t bother to dig their previous older work. But here we are at the beginning of 2016, with a live album from the Thrashers recent UK tour. The album has some of the most popular songs from the whole ONSLAUGHT discography, and for even for someone like me who doesn’t really dig live albums, it still was interesting to this record.

The live album starts off with their 2011 title track song “Sound of Violence”, which starts with a siren, as the crowd starts cheering and yelling. The siren slowly turns into thunders and sharp riffs, with vocalist Keeler starting the song by screaming “Londoooon”, before the song goes into a riff pounding mode. The riffs are slightly different from their studio sound, and thankfully it doesn’t disappoint, thanks to the excellent production done here. The album continues with another album title track in “Killing Peace” which goes along similar lines, especially with the thick juicy guitar riffs and the catchy screaming vocals. From the 2013 album “VI”, “Chaos is King” does live up to its title as the song is much more chaotic than most other songs, and I guess different people will have different opinions on this on, and as not such a big fan of chaotic music or even chaotic metal, I would say it is a slight disappointment, although I must mention that the song might have seen some insane moshpits while this song was being played. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it tries to be chaotic for the sake of being chaotic, and that kind of becomes a bit cliché and predictable.

Let There Be Death” is another insane song, as both the vocalist and the guitarists go nuts, and the fun they had at the live show can clearly be visualized by the screams of Keeler towards the crowd. One can’t help but headbang to this song even as I am just sitting on my lazy ass on my bed. This is one of the better songs of this album, more due to the live performance and production than the song itself. One of the 2 best songs from their last full length album “Children Of The Sand”, kicks more ass than I could have imagined, especially because of the change in the sound of the live version of the song. The song sounds little differently to what the studio is, and surprisingly that actually is great as well. The riffs, drums, bass, and the vocals, all pack in enough energy to really get your neck banging to this. It’s one of those songs that I will never get bored of listening to, and thankfully the live version is equally good, if not better. The ability of the song to distinguish itself and stand out makes a lot of difference to this song, and the sharp semi-doomy riffs in the middle of a Thrash song, is why I love this song so much. Yes, I am talking about 4:16 – 4:47 min in this song. Absolutely brilliant. And as announced in the end of this song, the band next goes back to their previous album “Sound of Violence” again with the song “Rest In Pieces”, and the vocals are simply bang on, bordering with Black Metal style vocals. “Destroyer Of Worlds” is more of a punkish song as the band tries to make chaos sound beautiful and almost achieving it, but sadly falls short of it.

And finally, my most favorite song of the band and hence the song that I was anticipating for the most come in. “66 Fucking 6” really does justice to the live audience with this performance. The vocalist and the guitarists do change some small parts of the song to make it more interesting and keep the audience guessing, but still managing to keep the main riff of the song intact all the way through. This is the song you need to share with anybody who asks you why they need to listen to ONSLAUGHT. The live version in this album has an extended version where Keeler has a chat with the crowd and expressed his happiness of playing in front of the home crowd in London. Then the lads go back to the 1989 album’s title track “In Search Of Sanity”. The song was the 1st time that I was hearing it, and there are plenty of thick juicy hair lifting Thrashy riffs, although I felt the vocals were just a tad disappointing, but not bad though. “Fight With The Beast” is again another fast paced chaotic song, and frankly not my cup of tea, but I guess I would enjoy the song more in a live show, so I am not really complaining. Having said that, I must say that the song still manages to pack some excellent cheesy riffs, some of them very innovative too. Although “Metal Forces” tries to make an anthem out of the song, the song sadly falls short of my expectations, as I had never heard the song before. It starts well, but ends up sounding too generic and similar to the rest of the songs. “Onslaught Power From Hell” reminded me of Phil Anselmo as Keeler screams the longest scream of the album and the rest of the song kicks some ass too, even with its chaotic sound. The album ends with a song from their 1983 demo – “Thermonuclear Devastation”. The song has some crazy solos almost sounding like a mix of Thrash and Power Metal there, but still managing to finish of the album in a very convincing way.

Apparently the physical album of this record comes along with a 20 minutes of Documentary and the music video for “66 Fucking 6”, but I did not receive either with this digital promo, but even without that this album kicks ass. The live album is a good way for old and new fans of the band to relook at the long history of nearly 3 decades of ONSLAUGHT. Although not everything is right in the album, the lads do pack a lot of meat in them and I personally can’t wait to see these lads live in the future.

Production: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

01. The Sound Of Violence
02. Killing Peace
03. Chaos Is King
04. Let There Be Death
05. Children Of The Sand
06. Rest In Pieces
07. 66 'Fucking' 6
08. Destroyer Of Worlds
09. In Search Of Sanity
10. Fight With The Beast
11. Metal Forces
12. Onslaught (Power From Hell)
13. Thermonuclear Devastation
Sy Keeler - Vocals
Nige Rockett - Guitar
Leigh Chambers - Guitar
Jeff Williams - Bass
Mic Hourihan – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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