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Onslaught – Sounds of Violence: Review

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Through AFM records, the British Onslaught released their latest album called Sounds of Violence. The names of both the album and the band suggest aggressive, hard-hitting metal, and no doubt that is the case. Sounds of Violence is a solid thrash metal release which is sure to soothe the typical headbanger’s call for a rush of insanity.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Into the Abyss
  2. Born for War
  3. The Sound of Violence
  4. Code Black
  5. Rest in Pieces
  6. Godhead
  7. Hatebox
  8. Antiheist
  9. Suicideology
  10. End of the Storm

With this album, Onslaught delivers a thrash sound reminiscent of the 80’s regarding musical style, but also with a modern finish regarding the sound production. It is comparable to the latest Testament album, Formation of Damnation. In fact, both albums add aggressive growling vocals to build on the modern metal touch. As expected from thrash metal, the music is largely based on technical guitar riffs with heavy distortion mingled with an assault of hard and fast drums. The vocals are a mixture of growling and singing, both with a noticeably rough tone. For fans of the stylings of Testament or Pantera, Sounds of Violence is sure to meet your demands.

The record gives all that is expected from the thrash metal genre, and at a commendable level too. This is good in the sense that one’s expectations are met with the album. There is a massive arsenal of thrash riffs, all of which are considerably strong. On the drumming side, there is a hefty collection of double-bassing interlaced with attacking snare drum rhythms and machine gun fills. The bass connects the two aforementioned instruments quite nicely, but does not go out of its way to become overly memorable. As per thrash metal expectations, the vocals are the weakest part. Depending on who you ask, they could be considered good or bad. Regarding the former, they do a fine job in adding to the violent atmosphere which every aspect of this album is geared towards. They are as uncompromising as the music altogether. But on the downside, they are at times stale and merely filler due to lack of versatility. The lyrics are also rather typical and little more than acceptable. Still, the vocals are not the focus, nor do they try to be. So, whether they are considered good or bad does not greatly compromise the album’s quality.

As previously stated, the record is a definitive thrash album. Unfortunately, it does not care to venture out of the genre’s boundaries even slightly. Sounds of Violence embraces the whole spectrum of thrash riffs, but they are all thrash riffs. Everything in the music is done so within the frame of thrash metal. I would even go as far as to say that the album is “thrash-influenced thrash metal”.  Though it keeps the album focused and unwavering, it also keeps it one-sided, stagnant, and safe. And despite the high level of execution, it is simply not high enough to shoot this album from very good to great (unlike the earlier mentioned Formation of Damnation). Still, it is a record brewed for the anarchistic minds of metal moshers and they are sure to be satisfied.

Overall, Sounds of Violence is a very good album. Everything on the musical and instrumental side are of fine taste. The major downfall is with the inability for the record to stretch beyond the grip of the genre. All aspects of the music are done excellently within it, but have not place outside of it. For this reason, I would strongly recommend Sounds of Violence to (and only to) lovers of the heaviest and thrashiest of metal.

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