Now is the best time to be a thrash metal band and the genre hasn't been in this great shape since the late 80s. Onslaught was at the cutting edge around that time, being the preeminent purveyors of punk-laced NWOBHM mixed with spiteful angst. Alas, the band threw in the towel after a couple of well received albums, never to be heard from again. Not even diehard collectors kept their meager discography alive, relegating them to the trash heap of history.
Everything changed in 2007 when the band finally decided to give their dreams another go and churned out Killing Peace, a vicious slab of honest to goodness thrash that coincided with the ascent of Evile, Gama Bomb, and Bonded by Blood. What set Onslaught apart is rather than just play music in homage to the greats, they really were part of the scene back in the day, so whatever they do is straight from the gut; thrash metal with no frills, no bullshit, no compromise.
The same mindset predominates on Sounds of Violence, the band's worthy successor to their last foray. Without batting an eyelash, this writer declares Sounds Onslaught's finest effort. Everything comes together here, from the thick buzz saw riffs to the deft songwriting and arrangement. The ten different slices of aural carnage (plus a Motorhead cover) may not be treading on new ground, but the execution is pin point merciless. If every metalhead had a set of buttons that induces pleasure, Onslaught hit all the right ones throughout their latest album.
But before the numbing barrage commences a rather bland overture opens the curtains on the album. Into the Abyss is best described as a cinematic intro that deserves the skip button. Though listenable, much better fare awaits. Sounds of Violence slaughters everyone's misgivings on its first sonic salvo Born for War, which can go had to head with the most vitriolic Exodus or Forbidden. Onslaught are in fine form here and the band's momentum doesn't let up until the album wraps. For ultimate gratification, drool over the savage poetry of Code Black, Rest In Pieces, Hatebox, End of the Storm, and the merciless Antitheist. They're all good, all insane, all sheer perfection.
A giant birdie finger to welcome the New Year, thrash fans and extreme metal devotees shouldn't miss Sounds of Violence.