From: Bristol, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active
Onslaught was formed in 1982 by Nige Rockett (guitar) and Steve Grice (drums). The band began life under the influence of the second generation of hard-core punk bands like Discharge, G.B.H, & The Exploited and the more metal influence of Motorhead. After 2 years of writing and hard gigging a deal was secured with underground label Children of the Revolution, and the band released its first album, Power From Hell, in 1985 with the lineup of Nige Rockett (Guitars), Steve Grice (Drums), Paul Mahoney (Vocals) and Jason Stellard on bass. The album was fervently received by the nascent thrash underground and contained a number of tracks that were to grow to become considered as thrash metal anthems, including the eponymous Onslaught (Power From Hell), Angels of Death and Death Metal (itself the subject of some conjecture – was this tune the first usage of the term ’Death Metal’ anywhere?) In 1986, Onslaught with the addition of new vocalist Sy Keeler signed to the mighty ’Music for Nations’ records which saw the release of the highly acclaimed ’The Force’ album, for many this is the definitive Onslaught record, containing more thrash classics like ’Let There Be Death, Metal Forces and Fight with the Beast’, the album received rave reviews across the world and catapulted Onslaught in to the higher circles of thrash metal and were seen by many as Europes hopefuls to end the American domination of the metal scene.. Touring with Motorhead, a legendary appearance at the 1st Dynamo Festival and shows with Anthrax and Nuclear Assault, simply added more firepower to Onslaughts evergrowing arsenal.. The huge success of ‘The Force’ album saw a wealth of major labels chasing Onslaughts signatures for the release of the 3rd album ‘In Search Of Sanity’. Onslaught eventually signed with ‘London records’ before releasing ISOS in 1989, but this was not to be without controversy.. Sy Keeler was unceremoniously sacked by the record company and Steve Grimmett was brought in as his replacement. The album was the bands biggest selling album to date, containing blistering thrashers like ‘Lightning War’ ‘Powerplay’ and the epic ‘Welcome To Dying’.. but die-hard Onslaught fans found the album too much of a departure from previous releases, due to the over-polished production and the replacement of Sy Keeler… Was this Onslaughts ’Final Moment’….? No, 15 years pass, Power From Hell & The Force are re-released on cd through the ’Blackened’ label, the interest in Onslaught is still strong, little did people know the band had reformed and had been secretly writing / rehearsing for 6 months at a hideaway outside Bristol.. Onslaught are returned with Sy Keeler once again at the mic. They then signed a worldwide deal with the impressive ’Candlelight’ label and the band entered ‘Backstage Studios’ Derbyshire, with long time friend Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Arch Enemy, Exodus) at the production / mixing helm..to record their 4th studio album ’Killing Peace’ The album was released to much critical acclaim in March 2007.
Onslaught Interviews and Features
Below are our features and interviews with Onslaught.
It’s hard to believe that Onslaught has been around for over 30 years now. At one time, the band set a pace to become one of the greatest thrash bands of all time, until a dynamic shift in the sound of the late 80’s led to an eventual downfall. Prior to “In Search of Sanity” (1989), the band had released two of the most critically acclaimed thrash masterpieces ever released “Power From Hell” (1985) and “The Force” (1986). They deserved to be spoken of among the genre’s greatest offerings. In 2004, the band reformed with vocalist Sy Keeler and the band was given that rare “second chance” to start anew.
In 2007, “Killing Peace” re-established the band’s thrash roots and the reviews reinforced it. “Sounds of Violence” followed in 2011 and the band was back in stride and running on all cylinders. With the release of “VI,” this year (see review here), the band progressed further – adding newer elements in songs like “Children of the Sand.” With this rebirth, the band has ascended the throne once again and deserves the attention of any critic or fan of thrash. Band founder and guitarist Nige Rockett checked in with Metal Underground.com to discuss the new album – the new elements the band has added – and what it was like to rock the boat on 70,000 Tons of Metal back in January 2013. More...
British thrash legends Onslaught have now dropped their latest album "Sounds of Violence," which continues the band's blend of thrash and punk attitude. I recently spoke with the Onslaught front man Sy Keeler to get a look into the creation of the album and how the band has changed after being hiatus from 1991 to 2007.
Keeler commented on getting Phil Campbell and Tom Angelripper to guest on the cover of Motorhead's "Bomber," Onslaught's place in the world of thrash metal, and the possibility of the band re-recording early material down the line. More...