Onslaught
Generation Antichrist

Coming out the starting gates with their seventh full-length album, UK longtime thrashers, Onslaught, know how to do deliver well-crafted and brutal thrash metal music.  I have followed the band since their debut album Power From Hell.  Yes, The Force is my fave album from them and that will never change- sorry, but all their records are awesome.  Their 2013 album, VI I reviewed and loved that album and still do through and through.

Obviously, the pandemic has had influences on bands and band members leaving the scene due to the music scene uncertainty.  Long time vocalist, Sy Keeler departed Onslaught before the recording of Generation Antichrist.  Because I love his vocals so much I was skeptical if the band would regroup, but new vocalist David Garnett does a fine job. Actually, since the last album other than bassist Jeff Williams and founder, guitarist, Nige Rockett the rest of the band are new members.  James Perry on drums and Wayne Dorman on guitar – both joining 2 years ago.

The slow burn instrumental “Rise to Power” gets things underway in this brisk 9 song 38 minute thrashing madness of an album.  There are some vocals and I can hear newcomer David Garnett attempting to emulate Sy Keeler’s snarling thrash vocals and he sounds decent.  Then “Strike Fast Strike Hard” comes in with monstrous double bass and amazing bass guitar work.  The ripping riffs of Nige are on full display.  I always looked at him as what Gary Holt is to Exodus.  The man with the riffs.  Really coming up with some of the best thrash metal right alongside Exodus.   Excellent chorus and some vicious venomous vocals spewing forth from the new guy – sounding really good.  Mid-way into the song we get a nice slow down beat down riff with some awesome guitar melodies over the brutality and then right into a ripping guitar solo over the fast part – on fucking point!!

“Bow Down to the Clowns” has a monstrous mid-paced opening sequence where I just want to see people swinging from here to Jupiter – insanely heavy.  More awesome chorus moments, where a tight little blast beat erupts right before the chorus comes in.   The mid-paced rumbling heaviness is so fucking heavy it has a Bolt Thrower slight influence to it.  After the solo at the 2.55 part the repeated words over the drums and guitars is killer and David letting out a little death metal growl and right into an awesome rhythm section.  The title track is the longest song at close to 6 minutes and some news media spoken words in the beginning – I was thinking this is sounding like Ministry.  The minute mark starts the true nature of the song with the Holy Shit guitar riff right before the fast thrash speed and the song brings it back into the monster mid-paced rumbling heaviness.  The song alternates between mid-paced heaviness and faster passages as David throws in some death metal grunts as well.

“Religiousuicide” is a goddamned ferocious song with killer anti-religious lyrics with some catchy passages with the well placed chorus and words:  “Hanging on the Holy Cross judicious parasite, Religion takes it up the Ass is Jesus Fucking Christ”.  This is my favorite lyrical passage for 2020.  It’s brutal, catchy and really one of the most ferociously angry songs Onslaught has ever written.  Where this chorus is placed then right into the fast moment is genius. The rest of the songs are also outstanding and Onslaught – no surprise have released the best thrash metal album for 2020.  There are lots of great thrash metal albums this year but

Generation Antichrist is truly next level shit, mofos.  Also I’ve always loved that Onslaught has always flirted with death metal, slightly, on a bunch of their releases.   Their songs have that extra oomph and evilness that trad thrash metal bands do not have.  It’s why ever since The Force they have continued to remain in my top tier of bands.  The production is top notch.  The guitars are incredibly heavy, the bass guitar is audible, the drums and double bass hit hard and welcome to the fold Mr. Garnett – he does a phenomenal job.  It really seems the band have tried to craft him into a singer emulating Sy’s vocals – because he sounds very similar and even throws in some death metal vocal snarls, something Sy would do now and again too.  David does them a little more often – so you know this guy appreciates it very much.  The album cover I am not sure about though.  Onslaught going for a safe cover where I kind of wanted the album cover to depict more of the album name and lyrical themes of the music.  But the colors are nice and having their classic logo adorning the album certainly stands out.

Generation Antichrist is fantastic through and through, with outstanding songs, musicianship and severe head banging catchiness.  Onslaught continues to be at the forefront of the thrash metal scene and are head and shoulders above bands who outsell them.  This is the best thrash metal album for 2020 – phenomenal!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 13th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    Whoa! Best thrash metal album of 2020? Bold statement. I’m intrigued.


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