Onslaught – Generation Antichrist
Release Date: 07/08/2020
Running Time: 37:53
Review by Victor Augusto
I have to confess that writing review introductions is always a kind of nightmare for me. I always try to flee from that usual boring writing that often repeats what we’ve already read on band releases. Therefore, I use the technique of telling some kind of history. Most of the time, it’s related to the band, but not always (again boss, don’t fire me)! But it’s impossible to not tell a true history when Onslaught is the subject. My relationship with Onslaught began on November 17th, 2009. On this day, I saw Onslaught playing in Brasília (the capital of Brazil), the city where I live. Ok, it wasn’t the greatest production and the venue wasn’t as big as the band deserved. But, despite all the issues (that is so typical of Brazilian concert producers), what I saw that day was an insane band on stage! It didn’t matter that it was 2am on a Tuesday or that a lot of chaos happened in a small pub. Onslaught played as if they were in front of a huge festival crowd.
Ok, now let me switch from fan mode to reviewer mode and talk about what matters – “Generation Antichrist”, the new Onslaught album. It’s finally here, after 7 years of non-stop touring since the last one, and with important line-up changes, especially the change of long-time singer Sy Keeler, to David Garnett (also Bull-Riff Stampede). I was full of expectation about what this album would sound like. After listening to the short opening song ‘Rise To Power’, which is full of good melodies and a very intense atmosphere, ‘Strike Fast Strike Hard’ suddenly hits my ears!! And what can I say about it? RIIIIFFFF! Yes, Riff! This was the first word I screamed after listening to this incredible track. What a killer song. Powerful riff and heavy as anything. The purest Onslaught putting their soul and making me bang my head like a teenager hearing Heavy Metal for the first time ever. Make riff, not war. Ok, no more fan mode, I promise 😊.
Luckily, ‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ keeps this sensation going, like I was at a live concert with them playing song after song without taking a breath. The sound is furious! It’s like Nige Rocket is conducting his troop as a lead pilot from a fighter squad, flying supersonic, ready to explode the universe! The riffs and solos, together with his “partner in crime” Wayne Dorman are just incredible. I noticed a couple of differences from their previous sound though. James Perry has a strong groove and hits his kit hard. He also uses good double bass passages to flee from the usual Thrash rhythm drumbeats.
Jeff Williams, who has been playing in the band since their return in 2006, contributes to this groove, too. His highlight is in the last song, ‘A Perfect Day To Die’, with an insane bass intro. This song was previously released last year, with Sy on vocals, and it is perfect to illustrate the difference between both singers. Personally, I felt that David Garnett chose to keep the band’s spirit similar to Sy. Maybe the biggest difference is how fast he can speak in some parts, which offers a good dynamic for vocal interpretations, as you can hear in ‘Religiousuicide’. Actually, everything is fast in this song and shows a different side of Onslaught.
Still talking about the album, the band offers songs with more cadence, like the title song ‘Generation Antichrist’, which also has a strong chorus. ‘Empires Fall’ follows the same idea. Don’t expect anything without heaviness on this album either!
Even though the album’s title could suggest an antichrist theme, I felt that the lyrics are more critical towards how humans use religion to gain power and destroy lives, using religious beliefs to manipulate things. An issue that has been cursing humanity for a long time and it is still a trend and topic full of barbarism.
It feels weird talking about Onslaught, considering I live in a hugely different country to them. But I think they’re a legendary band, not only in England, but worldwide. I also feel like Onslaught has nothing more to prove. No matter what turbulence they live in, they will always offer a killer album. How could I not love it? If you don’t agree, please listen to “Generation Antichrist”. It proves everything I am saying.
01. Rise To Power
02. Strike Fast Strike Hard
03. Bow Down To The Clowns
04. Generation Antichrist
05. All Seeing Eye
06. Addicted To The Smell Of Death
07. Empires Fall
09. A Perfect Day To Die (2020 version)
Dave Garnett – Vocals
Nige Rockett – Guitar
Wayne Dorman – Guitar
Jeff Williams – Bass
James Perry – Drums
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