Many a Thrash bands career or popularity has been made or broken by its vocalist, so when Onslaught announced that Sy Keeler was once again leaving the band a sharp intake of breath from Onslaught fans worldwide was felt.
Now this isn’t the first vocalist change in the bands long history, with Jase Pope, Paul Mahoney, Steve Grimmett, Tony O’Hara, Neil Turbin all having held the microphone for periods. But Sy was integral to their sound from the classic album ‘The Force’ as well as the 3 albums since their regrouping in 2005 and too many of us ‘THE’ Onslaught Vocalist.
New vocalist Dave Garnett has held the Onslaught Mic in the past himself, standing in for Sy last February in Sweden and of course is well known for his guitars and vocals in Bull Riff Stamped but how’s he going to fair in being the new voice of these thrash legends….
… let us just put it this way, you’ve got nothing to worry about!! Dave fills those shoes like they were made for him, whilst the soul and tone has a respectful nod to his predecessor, this isn’t a karaoke challenge and Dave makes every track his own from the off, with the slightly more death metal tinge to his voice making this album sound heavier than ever.
So now we can relax and forget about the line-up changes and get on with the 9 tracks of thrash goodness that the band serves up –
Opener ‘Rise To Power’ rallies the troops from the off, this short, snarling, booming opener sets the scene for the album, we’re not taking any prisoners here people, without chance to catch breath we are launched into ‘Strike Fast, Strike Hard’ and release the ravaged dogs of war that have been pulling at the leash to unleash destruction on those unwise enough to get in their way!
Next track ‘Bow To The Clowns’ continues to slash and tear at the establishment before the title track ‘Generation Antichrist’ rolls into town to stick two fingers in the eyes of organised religion and all those that hide behind its pomp and hypocrisy. ‘All Seeing Eye’ continues the anti-establishment theme, and smacks at the heart of big brother are watching CCTV civil liberty infringements.
‘Addicted To The Smell of Death’ has got moshpit sing along written all over it! But the last three tracks on the album is where the album steps up another level – sending a warhead into the core of thrash and delivering potentially the strongest run of tracks on any album! ‘Empires Fall’ the already released single ‘Religiousuicide’ and closing with, what is possibly the best track on the album ‘A Perfect Day To Die’ all sit together in a savage display of power and intensity that sums up the albums dark charms.
Nige and the lads should be commended on delivery possibly the heaviest slice of Onslaught thrash from across the four decades of their existence, brutal, heavy and punchy old school thrash with a modern but not overworked production and sound, with no sign of these old war dogs slowing down!
Someone’s going to have to produce something amazing to stop this being my album of the year!
We don’t give scores but if we did, this is 666/10
Onslaught’s Generation Antichrist is due for release on August 7th 2020 from AFM Records and is available to pre-order now.