Onslaught – Killing Peace

onslaught_090407_killingWhat do you know? Onsalught are back on the market, and they don’t completely suck! For me, “The Force” is the be all, end all Onslaught moment, for they nailed thrash, traditional metal, not to mention a definitely creeped out satanic metal vibrancy all at once, which to this day, stands alone in their brief catalog, not to mention the metal genre in general during the time it was released. Upon breaking up after the failed experiment that was Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper), I really don’t think anyone cared that Onslaught called it a day. Leaving on such a sour note makes a reformation and actually good return album that much more surprising. “Killing Peace” really doesn’t sound like Onslaught of old, which is surprising since this is the bands original line-up, rather just a solid thrash band sporting a modern production (provided by Sabbat’s Andy Sneap). The thankful absence of blast beats does give the actual material a dated presence, but hey… I’m an old guy that just happens to like the era of metal this band arose from, so I’m completely in tune with what they are doing in 2007, by way of 1986 of course. I believe that a band should stand on the merit of the music they write and NOT the intense speed techniques of their drummer (1349 anyone?), so yes… sans blasting is quickly becoming the music of choice for me. Tight palm muted crunching gives way to some nice dueling harmonies and hook laden turns in the music to give each track a memorable identity. The chorus’ are also catchy, if not completely hokey, which we’ve come to expect from the lost years of thrash lore. Vocally, the singer is sufficiently diverse, being able to croon when the compositions call for a lighter touch, but for most of this album, he maintains a harshly shouted delivery that does remain melodious, almost on the verge of pitch singing… with an attitude of course. The discernable nature of his delivery allows some cheese to surface in the lyrical concepts, “dust to fuckin’ dust” and “Spitting blood in the face of god” inspired a chuckle or 2 to cross my lips. That and the fact that he tends to follow the musical progressions too closely with his vocal patterns, are the only 2 real nit-picky complaints I had with Onslaught’s non spectacular, but quite enjoyable return to making music again. If you like your metal old school, “Killing Peace” will not disappoint. – Marty


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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