Review Summary: An onslaught of bangers 'n' thrash for the casual thrash enthusiast.
It’s heavy. It’s fast. It’s furious. Yes, it’s most definitely a thrash metal album. And although it’s never going to change anyone’s mind about the band or indeed the genre in general, Onslaught’s latest, well, “onslaught” is just as solid as Power from hell
was almost three decades ago. If you’re going into this album wanting innovation, technical musicianship or indeed a progressive approach to songwriting, you may as well back out straight away, because VI
is essentially as simple and unoriginal as a standard thrash metal album gets.
That’s not to say VI
isn’t a good album. Rather, it’s a statement of intent which quite confidently proves that Onslaught still have plenty of life in them yet. Discounting the fact that it may or may not be as good as some of the more well-received extreme metal releases this year, Onslaught’s latest album is simply for those who love a bit of thrash to go with their copious amounts of alcohol and frantic bouts of headbanging, day in, day out. Plenty of songs from VI
could fit the needs of those particular metalheads: "Chaos is king" and "66 ***ing 6" are perfect examples. The former races against time to produce some of the heaviest, gnarliest sounds of 2013 and the latter stamps its menacing, slow-burning grooves onto the listener’s eardrum, all the while vocalist Sy keeler force-feeding satanic lyrical imagery straight down everyone’s throats. Both "Slaughterize" and "Cruci-fiction" display the most furious drum rhythms and heaviest bass lines in the band's cannon, at times managing to emulate the chaotic nature of some of Onslaught’s more well known 80s peers, and few would argue that the reboot of long-time fan favourite "Shellshock" is anything but a refreshing take on the band’s earlier years.
It’s not all as good as it gets however. Both "Fuel for my fire" and "Children of the sand" begin very promisingly, but the moment the rhythm section kicks in, it all sounds too weak and far too overshadowed by the greatness of VI
‘s best songs. Sure, it’s appropriately solid and intense, but even then those aforementioned songs suffer from an increasing lack of originality or musical strength. Sure, the likes of "Chaos is king" and "66 ***ing 6" are pretty much the same, but at least they have a way of making sure the instrumentation stays prominent and intense throughout. That said, VI
is thrash, done the easy way. If you love thrash, and don’t mind a lack of originality, then this is for you. If you don’t like thrash, and prefer more forward-thinking musicianship, then reading this review was probably a waste of your time.