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Metal Onslaught > Cease to Exist > Reviews
Metal Onslaught - Cease to Exist

Uberthrash - 75%

Deathdoom1992, June 23rd, 2016
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Shark Records

As the sole other review on here reads:

"And don’t complain about Reign in Blood ‘cos this is shorter by ten minutes and is 300% less significant"

Shorter by 10 minutes and 300% less significant? Absolutely, but as an album, even though it's more of a long EP (maybe that's what it is, I don't actually know), it's a blast to listen to. The tracks blaze with punkish fury, too fast even for crossover standards, and the lyrics likewise, not that they are generally discernible thanks to the hoarse shout of vocalist/bassist Martti Payne. Indeed, pain is something good to remember while listening to this monstrosity. Absolutely 100% short of intricacy, with even the solos just thrown in wildly, if Master of Puppets is a refined knife attack, this is full brutal blunt force trauma. You don't really listen to the songs, they kick in, smash you over the head and they're done again, leaving you just enough time to prepare for the next assault.

Released in mid-'87 by a bunch of kids who weren't much older than high-schoolers, this album is understandably not the maturest product on the market. Raw as an uncooked steak and devoid of any production, it rages relentlessly for 17 minutes and finishes again. Listening to it won't enlighten your life, but then again few things will. It should be said that this band has a confusing history to say the least. Formed in 1985 under the name they're using here, they continued as Metal Onslaught, somewhat misleading considering their punk-y tunes, until some point in 1987-1989, rechristening themselves Carnage (with an equally crappy logo) in 1987 and releasing a demo before two more name changes and splitting up at some point in the '90s. But complain I will about Reign in Blood. Had this been released in 1985 just after the band formed, this would've been hands down the most extreme thing on the market. It was just 18 months too late. And there are some distinctly Slayer-ish moments on here as well. Take the title song, for example: pure South of Heaven, which wasn't even released yet.

That isn't the only highlight either. You've got "Welcome to My Hell", "Waiting for Death" and my personal favourite, "Victims of the Axe", which crunches like Metallica, just more extreme. Arguably missing their biggest song however, "Primal Scream". Things that would improve this record? Martti Payne toning-down his vocals to something more standard crossover and more understandable, and my pet peeve, THE GUITARISTS NEED TO LEARN HOW TO FUCKING SOLO. No, a hyper-speed screech doesn't cut it as a solo, it's just noise (unless, of course, your name is King or Hanneman), and that's all these two guys do. Elsewhere, the riffs are pretty nice. The album, however, has gone unnoticed merely because it doesn't add anything to the already burgeoning thrash spectrum.

Feel free to listen to this, but expect little more than four teens being incredibly pissed at their government, rednecks, and a myriad of other things, and like true thrashers wallow in gore and violence, but splitting after this one licensed release and possibly their biggest moment: sharing a split with the soon-to-be-famous Sepultura. I would close this review with lyrics, but I can't be arsed to read the tiny font on the lyric sheet and find 'em.

Crossover Onslaught doesn't have the same kick - 66%

Gutterscream, February 26th, 2007
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Shark Records

“…welcome to the parlor said the spider to the fly…”

Even with probably their best tune, “Primal Scream”, laid bare to more of the metal community through exceptional, though still limited Speed Metal Hell Vol. III exposure, these Chicago natives were still kinda hard to get a handle on. As a song, “Primal Scream” is a mid-tempo, solo-charged, and colorfully lingual cantankerous grinder - one spiteful motion, one underhanded delivery, one angry personality, Martii Payne spitting out obscenities with a skinless throat – an odd ditty compared to the bands on the sampler going for broke speed-wise around them, and shows no signs of joining the crossover brigade. Well, when you’re calling yourselves Metal Onslaught, a name that carves out a haven for the genre with a front-end loader, why in the hell would anyone expect different? Yet with Cease to Exist, the (original) metalcore seed hasn’t merely sprouted weed-like, it’s overgrown foliage you can't run through without tripping.

Four tracks from the ‘86 demo populate this nine-songer. Disappointingly, none of them fall along the unblemished metallic principle of “Primal Scream”. Instead, “Welcome to my Hell” and “Victim of the Axe” are hurled to the demons of standard crossover, boppin’ around with happy-riffed tomfoolery most to-the-core thrashers find little good in. Meanwhile, “Run For Your Life” is more tetchy and chaotic, bursting at the seams with a noisy, one dimensionl energy that won't be missed. Then there’s “Buttfuck”, the last previously unsigned track – c’mon, if you can’t see the sweat-warmed flippancy on the horizon, written in juvenile moshpit blood….

Martii Payne’s super-screech isn’t a new formula to the band’s sound, but it’s taken up a painful notch from those on the demo to a hemisphere somewhere between Mille’s blinding Pleasure to Kill affliction and Dani’s holocaustic slices on Cradle of Filth’s debut, or to chop it down a little more, a sweet Tito Matos/Wehrmacht breed of throatsear that's somewhere between brazen and annoying.

Of the lp’s remaining playlist, we’re treated to more of the same except for “Chester” and “Death Do Us Part”. Both rhythmically provide a more maniacal thrash embrace in a debut Acrophet kind of way, but Payne’s structurally choppy, mincemeat vocal approach is distinctive of hardcore songwriting that’s below the standard wire, an amplification of panting uselessness that looms when things are just too non-functionally fast. As one of those songs thrown in to close an album when there’s like forty seconds left, the short and ludicrous “Redneck” is as worthless as the stereotypical rust-bucket pickup truck in the front yard, but somehow ended up in the peculiar fourth slot.

I had some hope for the solos though, considering the one winding its way through “Primal Scream” is at least conscious of its toiling foundation and presents itself methodically interesting as it should have. Five tracks blew by in what felt like the time of a sneeze and I barely found one that was all that noticeable. They’re in there, buried, perhaps for good, much like any workman-like noteworthiness this band had generated prior to Shark Records flattening out a contract probably on some guy’s back in a parking lot.

Yeah, with a moniker like Metal Onslaught there’s some false advertising that I’m sure jerked a few other people around, and the compilation track is the demonstration that works on the showroom floor but peters out when you get it home. But what are you going to do? Either way, no matter how you kick, scream or cry, this is what crossover/then-metalcore is. I just wish I’d heard the entire demo beforehand.

And don’t complain about Reign in Blood ‘cos this is shorter by ten minutes and is 300% less significant.

“…let it out, let it out. Let me hear you fuckin’ shout. Can this be a fuckin’ dream? Everybody fuckin’ scream…” – "Primal Scream"