Onslaught

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Power From Hell

Onslaught - Power From Hell ©1985 Under One Flag
1. Damnation
2. Onslaught (Power From Hell)
3. Thermonuclear Devastation
4. Skullcrusher.1
5. Lord Of Evil
6. Death Metal
7. Angels Of Death
8. The Devils Legion
9. Steel Meets Steel
10. Skullcrusher.2
11. Witch Hunt
12. Mighty Emperess

When Onslaught got their start, the English band had their foot both in the British hardcore realm and Venom inspired slop-metal. Fortunately for Onslaught, they immediately had more talent than Venom, although that's generally a given. Give a guitar to any small child and he or she will likely bust out better chops than Mantas ever did. Onslaught has hints of having listened to early Venom, but I won't hold that against them.

Power From Hell is a tolerable, but unspectacular debut for the band. Their approach to thrash/speed metal was essentially just taking a bum's rush at their songs and hoping for the best. The word "subtle" barely existed in their portfolio of musical tricks and at times they border on primordial death metal. Of course, it's easy to say something like that in a review when they have a song called "Death Metal" and the LP has sides Death and Metal. However, Captain Obvious observations aside, a few of these songs venture towards a sound that later death metal bands would take on, including a somewhat gutteral approach by singer Paul Mahoney. Actually, I misuse the term "singer" since Mahoney has no range or melodic basis for his vocals. He just goes for it. That essentially sums up the approach of the young Onslaught. There was no need to fancy-pants up the music or show off whatever technical abilities they had.

It's hard to get too excited about this debut from Onslaught. While they do a better job of justifying their existence than the aforementioned Venom, it's still a record that has clumsy elements and not a whole lot of dynamics to separate their music from the pack. It essentially established a baseline for the band (not that Onslaught ever particularly garnered widespread attention at any point in their career).

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2010

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In Search Of Sanity

Onslaught - In Search Of Sanity ©1989 FFRR/Polygram
1. Asylum
2. In Search Of Sanity
3. Shellshock
4. Lightning War
5. Let There Be Rock
6. Blood Upon The Ice
7. Welcome To Dying
8. Power Play
9. Confused

Fully entrenched in the category of the Also-Ran Thrash Bands, England's Onslaught existed through the mid to late 80's without ever quite securing a permenant lead singer or making a huge impact on the music world. On In Search of Sanity, which proved to be their last album, the band recruited Grim Reaper's Steve Grimmett for the vocal department and proceeded to write and record a fairly decent piece of work. With a guitar sound reminiscient of Metallica's Master of Puppets era (though not as commanding) and melodies that remind me a bit of Anthrax, Onslaught rumbled through the nine tracks with a sense of reasonable execution. A certain degree of chemistry does seem to be lacking overall on the album as it tends to sound too tame to really be as ferocious as it should be. However, the cover of AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" is quite listenable and the lengthy "Welcome to Dying" is also noteworthy. While In Search of Sanity is hardly a genre defining piece, it is an album that should appeal to anyone with an interest in the late 80's thrash scene.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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