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Onslaught - Killing Peace Review

by Matt Hensch

I typically feel a bit uncertain about a band's decision to reunite after a long period of suspended activity. There usually is a disastrous outcome when a dormant group writes new material because they choose to follow a current trend or some radio-friendly crap that destroys the excitement of the reunion in the first place, but some bands stick to their roots and demonstrate they still have the ability to design remarkable music. The restoration of the illustrious Onslaught was a joyful revelation for many, but there was still a question hovering around the group's head: can they still be good? Well, that question was answered with a transparent 'yes' in 2007 when the thrash legends released Killing Peace. Instead of a bloated approach to mainstream junk, Onslaught reverted back to their thrash roots in one of the most ruthless comeback albums ever.

Fifteen years of silence hasn't stopped Onslaught from returning to their destructive invasion of thrash madness. The relentless strike of guitar domination is formulated by Alan Jordan and Nige Rockett's unlimited arsenal of memorable thrash riffs and roasting solos. The riffs sound fresh and crisp, yet they adapt to Onslaught's speedy thrash roots easily and sound great when played. Drummer Steve Grice performs on the same impeccable plateau of mastery that his admirable members shine upon. Grice's pure percussion talent lights up this record, and the dexterous drummer applies hyper-speed double bass kicks or unearthly fills to this awe-inspiring model of metal. Musically speaking, this is a total thrash offensive.

Sy Keeler's grand return to Onslaught is nothing short of extraordinary. The energetic vocalist follows the classic thrash singing style by using aggressive vocal tones and rapid lyric ejections. There are several significant vocal junctures throughout this record, but Sy's best singing moment appears during the chorus of "Shock & Awe" when he quickly spits out a bundle of words in just a few seconds; it's simply electrifying to hear and lifts up the song to the best part of this CD. Like his partners in crime, Sy hauls his weight around and knocks this one out of the park.

Isn't it amazing how Onslaught can still impress after being away from the metal scene for such a long time? Killing Peace isn't just one of Onslaught's best releases, but a golden example of how comeback albums should sound. This is a must for thrash fans, Onslaught lovers, and those who are interested in this legendary band; highly recommended.

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Onslaught - Killing Peace


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