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.
Latest Onslaught News
Below is our complete Onslaught news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has announced that they have signed a new record deal with AFM Records. The label will be releasing the band's fifth studio album which is expected to hit the shelves later this year. Guitarist Nige Rockett says about the signing:
"We're so very stoked to be joining the AFM Records roster, our deal with Candlelight had expired and as always Onslaught were looking for a new challenge. There were several labels interested in signing the band, but AFM said all the right things and made all the right moves so it wasn’t a hard choice. Also seeing what the label did with the latest Fear Factory album backed up our decision. It kinda feels like when we were signed to Music For Nations, very personal and very friendly on every level right up to the label owner. We have a real good feeling about the new album release and a very distinctive vision, AFM are right behind this 110%, we’re gonna make a great team and together we're gonna deliver some kick ass new tunes!"
When one thinks of thrash metal, the two countries that come to mine are the United States and Germany. However thrash had it's scenes all over the world. From Canada to Australia to Brazil and beyond, there was no country that thrash didn't touch and of course, Great Britain was no exception. Although the British thrash scene is largely overlooked, those who bother to explore it will find some of the best thrash of it's time and most were in agreement, that the best of these was Onslaught. Onslaught was founded as a punk band in the vein of Discharge and The Exploited by Nige Rockett in Bristol, England in 1983, being quickly joined by drummer Steve Grice. The band released a demo later that year before releasing an EP entitled, "What Lies Ahead" in the same year, which featured new members Jase Pope and Paul Hill.
Hill was soon to be replaced by Jase Stallard and the group took on a more metal orientated approach to songwriting and signed to Children Of The Revolution Records, under whom they released their debut album, "Power From Hell" in 1985. The album contained lyrics which were satanic in nature and also featured a song entitled, "Death Metal," leading to some metal fans crediting the band with coining the term, along with Possessed. That same year, vocalist Paul Mahoney moved to the position of second guitarist, when the band hired vocalist Sy Keeler. This lineup travelled to London to record their second album, "The Force" in 1986, which is now regarded as one of the genre's true classic albums, containing such thrash anthems as "Let There Be Death" and "Flame Of The Antichrist." After the release of "The Force," the band signed to major label London Records for their next album, though things did not go as well as they had hoped. Under pressure from the label, the band let Keeler go and hired Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett, in an attempt to help the band reach a more mainstream fan base. The subsequent album, "In Search Of Sanity" was released in 1989 but proved to be a disappointment for hardcore fans, oweing to the change in vocals and more polished production. Grimmett left the band soon after and the band was dropped from their label, before deciding to call it a day in 1991.
Key members Steve Grice and Nige Rockett remained good friends throughout the inactivity of Onslaught, and upon finding out that a record label had been selling Onslaught albums without permission, the two decided to reform the band. They contacted Sy Keeler who soon agreed to rejoin the band, along with bassist Jim Hinder, who had performed with the group during the "In Search Of Sanity" era. The band performed some low key gigs, along with supporting slots to the likes of Venom, before releasing a new studio album entitled, "Killing Peace" in 2007. The album was regarded as a natural follow up to "The Force" and was extremely well received from fans and critics alike. Since the release of the album, Onslaught have been touring relentlessly to take their rightful place as one thrash metal's true greats, performing all over the world and releasing a live album entitled, "Live Damnation" in the process. The band are currently working on their fifth studio album, which is expected to be released later this year. More...
British thrash metal veterans Onslaught has announced that they will be heading to Mexico for two shows next month. A message from the band reads as follows:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are so fucking happy to announce our first ever gigs in Mexico!!!! Bring on the chaos, lets see how you folks thrash the fuck out and see you in the pit!!!"
The tour dates are as follows:
July 30 - San Luis Potosi, Mexico - Huerta del STIC
July 31 - Mexico City, Mexico - Circo Volador
Nige Rockett, guitarist and co-founder of British thrash metal veterans Onslaught has posted a message online updating fans on the status of the bands forthcoming fifth studio album. The posting reads as follows:
"Yes we have an album title. Yes we have a release date. Yes we have a producer. Yes we have studio time booked and yes we have a new. Hahahahaha not telling ya.
"It's certainly not gonna be Killing Peace 2 that's for sure. It's old school, It's contemporary, its Onslaught. It's gonna be faster at times, definitely heavier with some songs having their more intricate moments, but not too intricate, cuz that means compromising the violence which this album is really gonna be all about: pure unadulterated musical violence.
"We're gonna be using several different guitar tunings to add some sonic variety and lots of truly stunning solos coming your way from Mr Rosser-Davies. He's on fire at the moment and being pushed to the limits in terms of creativity and originality. More...
A new short animated film entitled, "Bloody Hands" has been posted online and thrash metal fans will be pleased to hear that the film contains the song, "Flame Of The Antichrist" by reactivated British thrash band Onslaught. You can check out the film below. "Bloody Hands" was created by The Dead Will Arise Studio and has been acknowledged for awards by the Fredrikstad Animation Festival (Norway) and Ourense International Film Festival (Spain). More...
Swedish melodic death metal band Bibleblack has issued the following update regarding the cancellation of two Swedish shows:
"Due to events that are out our control, we are sorry to announce that two of our four upcoming gigs in Sweden have been canceled."
"We can comfort all of you who have dug up skeletons and sharpened your theeth for these two gigs, with the fact that we will reschedule them to a later date this year."
"The bibleblack mass at Henriksberg in Gothenburg, 17/3 - CANCELLED
The unholy ceremony at The Cave in Stockholm 18/3 - CANCELLED"
Remaining tour dates are as follows:
Mar 19 - Club Deströyer - Sundsvall, , Sweden (w/ ONSLAUGHT, SCAAR)
Mar 20 - Maxim - Gävle, Sweden (w/ ONSLAUGHT, SCAAR)
May 08 - Nalen - Stockholm, Sweden (w/ THIS ENDING)
May 14 - Dante’s Highlight - Helsinki, Finland
May 15 - Masters of Metal - Tampere, Finland
British thrash metal legends Onslaught are the latest band to be confirmed for this year's edition of Britain's Bloodstock Open Air festival which will take place in Catton Hall, Derbyshire from August 13th-15th. This will be the only show the band will play in the United Kingdom in 2010. Founding member and drummer Steve Grice states:
"We are very excited and to be playing Bloodstock 2010. Not only will it be the ONLY UK show Onslaught play this year, but the very first outdoor show we have played in the UK. We look forward to bringing some real Flesh Melting -Thrash Metal to the Guys and Gals of Bloodstock. See you all there!"
California thrashers Détente have announced they will be performing with Onslaught for their "back to school night" in Oslo, Norway on May 21st. Onslaught will play their original 1986 set while Detente will perform material from both "Recognize No Authority" and the upcoming "Decline." Detente's other upcoming tour dates are as follows:
4/29 Tilburg (Netherlands) The Little Devil
4/30 Antwerp (Belgium) De Rots
5/1 Frankfurt (Germany) Die Halle
5/2 Eindhoven (Netherlands) The Rambler
5/6 Hamburg (Germany) Hafenklang
5/7 Ludwigsfelde (Germany) N.V.A Club
5/8 Berlin (Germany) Amnesie
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has posted a new message online which discusses the bands forthcoming new studio album, as well as a recap of the previous year. The message reads as follows:
"We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very successful / happy and healthy year for 2010 and of course send out a massive thank you for all the amazing support we have received from you guys / girls in 2009. It is so very much appreciated.
"For us it's been an exceptional year in the face of such a global recession. We have seen the release of our first ever live album Live Damnation and once again taken in many new territories on the live front (South America in particular). More...
British thrash metal legends Onslaught are currently half-way through their first ever headlining tour of South America and the band has made sure to give South American fans a real treat by performing their 1986 album, "The Force" from start to finish. A message from guitarist Nige Rockett reads as follows:
"Just got in from the Campinas, Brazil show.. F'ing great night, hottest show so far. 3 hours sleep, off to the airport for the next venue...
"Regarding record companies as some people were speculating about it, we can only say that nothing is decided yet."
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has checked in from their first headlining tour of South America after finishing their shows in Brazil. The message reads as follows:
"Well here we are for our first time in Brazil, I've been looking forward to this for many years and what an eventful start we got off to...
"First show was in Manaus, a city in the middle of the Amazon jungle with no roads in or out, truly amazing. We arrive at the venue to be greeted by hordes of thrash metal maniacs hanging out around this, I must say gargantuan venue, its a really cool scene... I think within an hour we managed to get our photo taken with everyone there... ha ha ha ha.
"The equipment is not the best and it takes some huge compromises to get things together but with the help of William our sound tech, everything works and he gets a crushing front of house sound. The Force album seems to be order of the day, so we try to play it in its entirity, unfortunately our show is brought to a very abrupt end by the local Police (this is a big problem over here) and we are several songs short which was a huge disappointment at our first appearance here. More...
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has posted a new message online which discusses the bands recent shows in Holland and Belgium. It reads as follows:
"Holland, Belgium! You still know how to fucking mosh like it was fucking 1984 don't you! Thank you so much! Fucking crazy motherfuckers! Damn that was fun, and the stage invasions during 'Power From Hell' were spectacular! Hahaha!!!! See you all again soon!"
The band will be heading to South America for a headlining tour this wednesday (November 4th) before returning home to Britain to commence work on their fifth studio album.
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has checked in with a report on Germany's Rock Area Festival, after the band recently performed at the event. The message reads as follows:
"Hi Ladies / Lunatics
"Just got back from a gargantuan but sunny drive from Germany, only to be welcomed by the fucking English rain.
"I am somewhat lost for words about this festival because it was simply breathtaking. We have had the honour to play at so many great festivals in stunning settings but this really did eclipse them all in my opinion. More...
Romania's forthcoming metal festival, Rock City Open Air, appears to have either cancelled or postponed. A message from black metal legends Mayhem reads as follows:
"Unfortunately, Mayhem will not perform in Romania next week as the whole festival has been canceled (or apparently postponed). We are deeply sorry for the fans who wanted to see us performing there. This is of course totally out of our control.
"A statement regarding the reason of the cancellation should be posted on the festival's MySpace page soon."
This news come after the recent news that Immortal, Blood Red Throne, Macbeth and Trail Of Tears have all pulled out of the event. The festival was scheduled to be held from August 20-23rd in Fetesti, Romania.
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has checked in with a message regarding their recent performance at the Alcatraz Metal Festival in Deinze, Belgium. The message reads as follows:
"What a fucking brilliant festival! Seriously, a huge thank you to everyone involved in the organization of this, and and even bigger thank you to all the fucking lunatics that crashed the barriers and rocked out like the old school bastard motherfuckers that you are!
"Thank you so much... did I mention this festival was fucking brilliant?!!!!!!!!" More...
British thrash metal legends Onslaught are apparantly in the planning stages of a headlining tour of North America which will take place later this year. The tour will see the band headlining clubs across the continent as well as performing a special show for fan club members, which will be filmed and made available to fan club members only.
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has announced that they will be heading to South America for the first time in October. A message from guitarist Nige Rockett reads as follows:
"Here it is... the news we have been waiting so long to release.... We are so fuckin' stoked to announce that Onslaught will be touring South America this coming October.
"It's gonna be a killer tour and it'll be awesome for us to meet up with the legions of die hard 'Slaught fans over there and cause some major chaos together.
"The tour will begin in Brazil on October 8th closing with 3 shows in Colombia on October 16th/17th/18th. There are still a few dates / countries to be announced but we should have all the final details real soon."
The tour dates are as follows: More...
British thrash metal legends recently completed a short tour in the United Kingdom as special guests to veteran Bay Area thrash outfit Testament. A message from the band reads as follows:
"Just got back fromt the Testament UK tour... fuckin Killer!!!
"We had a blast and the shows we're totally fuckin awesome for us, if this tour proved one thing, it was that thrash metal is well and truly back at the forefront of the UK metal scene once more. Great line up/sold out shows with real old school attitudes, the future is bright!
"It was real cool to be out with all The Testament guys once more and a pleasure to have on board new upcoming American thrashers WARBRINGER.. check em out :) This was one of the most enjoyable tours we have ever been involved in, no egos & attitudes, just one big machine that ran like clockwork... very rare in this business!
Testament are currently on tour in the United Kingdom promoting their latest studio album, "The Formation Of Damnation" which was released last year to much critical acclaim. They made the wise choice to bring British thrash metal legends Onslaught along for the trek as well as young American thrashers Warbringer. Needless to say, no-one left disappointed.
I unfortunately arrived too late to see most of Warbringer's set but I saw the last song and they seemed like a good band. I'll make a point of seeing them in the future. It was a special show for Onslaught as the concert was being held in their home city of Bristol and the venue, (the Bristol Academy) was the only venue in the city the band hadn't played yet. The band opened their set with a thunderous response from the crowd as they ripped into the title track from their 2007 masterpiece, "Killing Peace." They continued on with a set that mainly consisted of songs from "Killing Peace" and their 1986 classic, "The Force" including staple songs, "Let There Be Death" and "Metal Forces" before finishing with "Power From Hell," the title track of their debut album. Onslaught showed ferocious energy from start to finish and seemed like they were having just as much fun as the whole crowd were. The only thing that seemed to let their set down was that alot of people complained about the sound, claiming the drums were louder than the vocals and guitars. It sounded fine to me though. After their set members from the band were hanging around talking to the fans at the merchandise stand, which is always nice!
Testament have been on a roll since releasing "The Formation of Damnation" and they're showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. They opened their set with "The Preacher" and continued to give unleash a high energy, sonic assault from there. Chuck Billy cemented his repuatation as one of the best frontmen in Thrash Metal by connecting well with the audience and keeping his voice as intense as ever before, and with the guitar team of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson behind him, in addition to the awesome rhythm section that is Greg Christian on bass and veteran thrash drummer Paul Bostaph, you can't go wrong. They performed the majority of their classic songs including, "Into The Pit," "Over The Wall" and "Disciples Of The Watch" as well as newer songs such as "More Than Meets The Eye" and "The Persecuted Won't Forget." A personal favourite moment of mine was when they began their encore with the excellent, "D.N.R." from the 1999 album, "The Gathering" before ending the show with the unusual choice of "The Formation Of Damnation." They left the stage to a great show of respect from the crowd after promising to return to Britain next year with a brand new album to support.
British thrash metal legends Onslaught has posted a live version of their classic song, "Metal Forces" on their Myspace page. You can check it out by clicking here. The track comes from the bands first ever live album, "Live Damnation" which will be released worldwide on July 20th through Candlelight Records. The album also contains a bonus DVD which features live footage and interviews.