Onslaught / A brutal return with ‘Generation Antichrist’
7 August 2020
After seven years, UK Thrash legends Onslaught return with their long-awaited new studio album ‘Generation Antichrist’. They have come a long way from their Hardcore Punk roots in their thirty-eight year career and with Sy Keeler stepping down as vocalist, it sees the new guy, Bull-Riff Stampede’s Dave Garnett, stepping up to fill a pretty large pair of shoes.
Onslaught – Generation Antichrist (AFM Records)
Release Date: 7 August 2020
Words: Jools Green
‘Generation Antichrist’ is an appropriate album for our times, inspired by a world full of hatred, megalomaniacs and political madness. It delivers with unrelenting aggression that, at the same time, often has an uplifting anthemic quality.
Nige Rockett told MetalTalk: “We wanted this album to sound like an audio backdrop for the lyrics contained within, dark and brutal in the extreme – which is why we invited producer Daniel Bergstrand to come in and deliver, what I think, is an absolutely awesome mix!
“This is also a real perfect time for our new vocalist Dave Garnett to make his name within Onslaught. He’s stepped up to the mark in a big way over the past year, having stood in for some live shows when Sy Keeler was unavailable.
“So when the full time position became available, he really couldn’t wait to get in the studio and do the business!”
I was a little nervous when I first heard of Sy’s departure however, listening here, it is clear Dave makes a very worthy successor.
It starts with a surreal opener of an old radio being re-tuned, encompassing amongst other things, as it searches the channels, a 50’s presenter and Wagner. A subtle message there, before arriving at the ominous ‘Rise to Power’ which, including that soundbite opener, may be just two minutes, but there is a lot packed into that compact time frame.
An ominous riff build with a singular pounding drum beat, elevating to guttural roars and squealing leads, before making a massive and to-the-point statement in the final thirty seconds, that’s how to make an impact.
This impact is continued with ‘Strike Fast Strike Hard’. It is driving, with an engagingly addictive repeat riff – an intense and full on track with an anthemic quality and killer second half leadwork.
‘Bow Down To The Clowns’ continues to drive through unrelentingly, aided buy some pretty impressive stickwork from drummer James. He good across the whole release, but gives a little more here in terms of content and complexity, giving the leadwork a run for it’s money.
After a cleverly manipulated opening soundbite, much like the concept of religion itself, ‘Generation Antichrist’ continues in that ever reliable Onslaught drive.
This is definitely a like one track, like them all release, all the way to album closer ‘A Perfect Day To Die’. This might just be my favourite track.
It just has a little more of everything. Another impressive burst of stick work, leadwork that is totally insane, a groove which is unbelievably addictive and the whole thing is totally brutal.
End on a track like that and no listener can resist playing the whole album again.
Nige Rockett concludes: “Even at this early, early stage, everyone who has heard ‘Generation Antichrist’ has a variety of favourite tracks. ‘Strike Fast Strike Hard’ is a banging track for an Onslaught album, it’s right up there with ‘Let There Be Death’ and ‘Chaos is King’.
“It has real punky edge to the chorus, which I love. It’s so fucking raw – it’s a truly relentless thrash album from start to finish that really pushed the boundaries of our playing to the maximum once again.
The album was mixed by Grammy Award winning producer Daniel Bergstrand (Behemoth / In Flames / Meshuggah) at Dugout Studios, Uppsala, Sweden and is out now.
1. Rise to Power
2. Strike Fast Strike Hard
3. Bow Down To The Clowns
4. Generation Antichrist
5. All Seeing Eye
6. Addicted To The Smell Of Death
7. Empires Fall
9. A Perfect Day To Die