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Onslaught - "Killing Peace" (CD)

Onslaught - "Killing Peace" CD cover image

"Killing Peace" track listing:

1. Burn
2. Killing Peace
3. Destroyer Of Worlds
4. Pain
5. Prayer For The Dead
6. Tested To Destruction
7. Twisted Jesus
8. Planting Seeds Of Hate
9. Shock 'N' Awe

Reviewed by on October 28, 2007

"one could be forgiven for believing that Onslaught never went away, much less that this is their first album in 18 years"

Onslaught is not the first band that springs to mind when someone mentions thrash metal. However, Onslaught's contribution is not to be ignored. Whilst thrash metal bands from their glory days are releasing new albums to attempt to keep the interest in thrash alive, some fall short of expectations. "Killing Peace," on the other hand, does not.

Upon listening to the opening riff of “Burn,” one could be forgiven for believing that Onslaught never went away, much less that this is their first album in 18 years! "Killing Peace" represents a band that knew exactly what their fans wanted to hear in an album and gave it to them, and then some!

The album's opening track, “Burn,” instantly lets the listener know what they're in for. As the opening riff creeps its way into the listener’s head, the rest of the band join in a way that sounds like canons exploding (most notably the sheer relentless drumming from Steve Grice). Sy Keeler solidifies his place as the true vocalist of Onslaught with this track alone and uses it to express his views on the Christian faith with no mercy whatsoever. His cry of “See you in Hell!" shows that the possibility of punishment after death doesn't phase him one bit. A fantastic opener that braces the listener for the metal assault that's to follow.

The album’s title track, “Killing Peace,” follows next. Once again a fantastic opening riff and explosive introduction before the scream of "Spitting blood in the face of God!" lets everyone know that the anger is being turned up a notch on this track. Lyrically, this is as brutal as any supporter of the removal of religion could possibly ask for. Lines such as "Tearing holes in the hearts of angels" and the aforementioned "Spitting blood in the face of God" demonstrate that they are not the Stryper of the thrash metal world. Musically, there is no stopping the band in its attempt to gain the thrash-metal throne that they should have been given long ago, with relentless riffs and machine-gun-like beats from guitarists Nige Rockett and Alan Jordan and drummer Steve Grice.

Next follows “Destroyer of Worlds.” Before Osnlaught even released this song it had been drilled into the heads of anyone who had witnessed the band live since their return. Keeler spits the chorus out faster than Serj Tankian on speed. This is possibly the best example of Grice's drumming on the entire album, showing off his technical skill perfectly. A true highlight on any metal album released this decade.

“Pain” pursues a different direction from the previous songs with a slow burning chorus and more emotional tone in the lyrics (don't worry this by no means Onslaught have gone emo!). It is placed at a point on the album where something different needs to be brought in.

“Prayer for the Dead” is another example of the quintet’s effort to push their distaste of religion into the faces of priests, parishioners, the Pope, and anyone in-between! Sy's sly voice as he words "Our father, cast down from Heaven" is something more bands singing about this sort of stuff should take heed of. Once again, Rockett and Jordan show why they're one of the best duos in thrash metal with superb riffing and downright nasty sounds spewing from their six strings.

Next comes “Tested to Destruction,” which is seemingly about the soldiers returning from battle and the scars they bear mentally. This is the song “Eyes of the Insane” wanted to be. This is the best example of the lyrical skills of Onslaught on display and, as usual, a monster of sound is right behind that powerful voice of Keeler to back up his anger.

“Twisted Jesus” brings a dark and brooding atmosphere with it as it enters but quickly changes to a relentless and high speed sonic onslaught (no pun intended). Plenty to keep the average metal fan interested on this one. Great lyrics, great riffs, great drumming, great song!

“Planting Seeds of Hate” could well be Onslaught's “Symphony of Destruction.” In much the same way fans have been known to chant "ME-GA-DETH!" over the riff of "Symphony of Destruction," "Seeds Of hate! Seeds of hate! I'm planting seeds of hate!" is just as chantable and catchy as anything Megadeth have ever produced.

The band keeps it short and sweet for the final track, “Shock 'N' Awe.” The second shortest song on the album, which clocks in at 3:57, is a great way to wrap up the work. Like the previous track, the title of the song is catchy and shoutable. The song also features some of Steve Grice's fastest drumming on the album.

Onslaught have come back from trials and tests and released one of the finest albums of the year--quite possibly THE finest. Fans will have a hard time choosing whether this replaces “The Force” as their best album and "Kiling Peace" is certainly in the top three of any album released by any thrash band in the past ten years. LET THERE BE DEATH!!!

Highs: Superb vocal work from Sy Keeler and equally brutal riffs from Nige Rockett and Alan Jordan throughout the entire album.

Lows: A tiny bit slow in some places but never long enough to complain about.

Bottom line: One of the best albums of 2007! Buy it now!

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)