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Onslaught - "VI" (CD)

Onslaught - "VI" CD cover image

"VI" track listing:

1. A New World Order
2. Chaos Is King
3. Fuel For My Fire
4. Children Of The Sand
5. Slaughterize
6. 6 6 'Fuckin' 6
7. Cruci-Fiction
8. Dead Man Walking
9. Enemy Of My Enemy

Reviewed by on September 27, 2013

"Speaking of Slayer, if this album doesn't dethrone the L.A. legends, especially in light of the loss of Jeff Hanneman and the odd departure of Dave Lombardo, then absolutely nothing will."

Sometimes bands just need to just throttle the fans with blinding brutality the likes of which have never been seen in thrash. In 1985, there were three bands that scared the crap out of little children and budding metalheads: Possessed, Mercyful Fate, and Onslaught. Sure, satanic themes have been present long before and during that time… but it just seemed so much more overt, serious, real, and taboo in the early teen years in a Catholic upbringing. 28 years ago when you heard “with the wrath of Satan in our minds, we take the stage to play for our lives” or “the advocate for Satan a worldwide death crusade,” you bet it scared the shit out of people.

Little did anyone know that Onslaught’s debut “Power From Hell” was a landmark release both for the band and in the metal scene. Flash forward to 2013 and now the band is releasing its third album since the landmark comeback album “Killing Peace” (2007) reaffirmed Onslaught’s status as legends. Just like other legends Sodom and Death Angel, as well as Testament and Kreator celebrating thrash works of art a year ago via live releases, this is yet more proof that the “old guys” can still bash it out as great as it ever can be.

“VI” is the newest slab of thrash greatness from a band that’s been nothing but flawless since roaring back to the scene. With each successive album, the band gets more vicious and mean with lethal riffs that reaffirm thrash dominance. The band’s previous album “Sounds of Violence” dropped in 2011 and when that intro of muffled Slayer-esque madness gave way to the single heaviest riff in, dare I say – the history of thrash – it made “Code Black” a Top 15 thrash song of all time. It would be hard to top this album. However, the band took the perfect approach – conducting an “online survey” of what fans wanted to hear on what would become “VI,” and then delivered in spades. Speaking of Slayer, if this album doesn't dethrone the L.A. legends, especially in light of the loss of Jeff Hanneman and the odd departure of Dave Lombardo, then absolutely nothing will. Onslaught deserves to be among the kings of thrash, right along the elite of Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Testament, and Overkill.

Just when you think “Code Black” couldn't be topped, there is “Children of the Sand,” with its eerie Middle Eastern intro that quickly gives way to a thrash assault with the technical proficiency of Annihilator. Sy Keeler’s serrated thrash voice slices through the speakers armed with Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies guitar turrets… and the wall of destruction in the form of new drummer Michael Hourihan. The chorus has those pauses you know I love, and then from 3:15 through the solo until 4:03 or so is one of the coolest breakdowns in thrash. This song begs to be played live, and there will be blood!

Other favorites include “66’Fuckin’6” – a song that lyrically reminds me of “Onslaught (Power From Hell)” (“We play the devil’s music, we are the union of the 6….6….6..”) – the sonic destruction of “Fuel For My Fire” (especially the last 35 seconds), the technically precise riffing of “Cruci-fiction” and “Chaos Is King,” which really is the new “Reign In Blood.”

Onslaught continues to entrench itself as one of the greatest thrash acts in the history of metal. Lovers of the riff will find multitudes to latch onto and moshers will gleefully spread brutality. As with all great thrash bands, "catchiness" and memorability are king – and Onslaught has hit on a formula that may seem used and “old school,” but the payoff is immense. There is no change, there are no keyboards, there is no progression – only metal the way the devil intended. The sooner people take notice, the better!

Highs: Technically perfect old school thrash played to perfection

Lows: Little progression, little to no change from previous efforts.

Bottom line: Onslaught plays thrash the way the devil intended..."VI...6 Fucking 6"!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)