Review: Onslaught “Generation Antichrist” [AFM Records]

Review: Onslaught “Generation Antichrist” [AFM Records]

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The latest album from British Thrash Metal legends Onslaught named VI was released in 2013. After that the band went touring for a long time: first it was a tour supporting a new album and then The Force 30 year anniversary tour. Now the time has come for the new longplay, Generation Antichrist.

The band’s line-up was changed once again: Dave Garnett changed long time vocalist Sy Killer. “Dave […] stepped up to the mark in a big way over the past year, having stood in for some live shows when Sy Keeler was unavailable. So when the full time position became available, he really couldn’t wait to get in the studio and do the business!” – says guitarist and founder Nige Rockett.

Dave’s vocal is mighty and rough. It reminds Sy’s in a way but certainly has its own traits. The easiest way to compare the vocals is to listen to the ending “A Perfect Day To Die”, which was released last year with Sy and then re-recorded with Dave. But anyway I think it’s quite a worthy replacement and fans will be hardly disappointed.

Generation Antichrist is a solid, extremely aggressive and very fast album with Onslaught unchanging lyrics about politics, religion and wars, quite a vital subject nowadays, for my sorrow. “We wanted this album to sound like an audio backdrop for the lyrics contained within, dark and brutal in the extreme – which is why we invited producer Daniel Bergstrand (Behemoth, In Flames, Meshuggah) to come in and deliver what I think is an absolutely awesome mix!” – continues Nige. As for me, Dave coped with the task greatly: you can hear all instruments in the mix, the sound is mighty and all nine songs of the album sound really brutal.

The album starts from switching radio stations where some classical music can be heard with songs from 30-40s and trained voice of the broadcaster. It changes with mid-paced Thrash Metal: robust Nige Rockett and Wayne Dorman’s guitars and great drums from James Perry – it is “Rise To Power”, short intro which sets the mood for the album. It changes rapidly with “Strike Hard Strike Fast” and from that moment music becomes hurricane-fast until the end of the album. Fast technical solos, mean guitar riffs, mighty drums, rough vocals with Jeff Williams’ distinctive bass – all together it sounds really solid and really aggressive.

In “Bow Down To The Clown” and “Empires Fall” there is a rugged male chanting in choruses, a great thing for live shows. “All Seeing Eye” in its turn is a little more melodic, compared to the other songs with the sound of Morse code in the middle. In self-titled “Generation Antichrist” guitars go somewhere to Slayer territory (or it’s a willful bow to the band that almost leaved the stage) and “Addicted To The Smell Of Death” also has some deviation to Bay Area Thrash Metal.

The first single from Generation Antichrist, “Religionsuicide” is a real quintessence of speed and aggression of this album: literally everything here is for the sake of these two features. At the same time I must admit that drumming pattern here is quite simpler than in the other songs. And aforementioned ending “A Perfect Day To Die” is some kind of back to 80s when Onslaught just began to walk their path: a mix of Thrash and Punk with great bass line in the beginning and rude male chanting, inherent to Punk.

There aren’t some mid-paced songs here (except the first one, which is more intro than full-fledged track), which is kinda lack for me. Generation Antichrist trots at high speed all the time and some break in a form of mid-paced track (even not less aggressive) would be nice, if you ask me. Also I heard some complaints about predictable and trivial lyrics but I don’t see any problem here: it’s Thrash Metal and it’s Onslaught so the lyrics and the themes are quite expected.

But all in all, British Thrash Metal veterans with joined new vocalist one more time delivered a brutal, aggressive and mean work. And if the words “Thrash Till Death” are not just words for you, don’t miss Generation Antichrist in any case.

Generation Antichrist will be released on August, 7 via AFM Records.

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