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This is nouveau supremacy - 96%

Felix 1666, January 23rd, 2016

Some critics say that Onslaught follow every new trend blindly. I do definitely not agree, yet I admit that there was a time when the band suffered from a certain fickleness. Positively speaking, they did not draw on their back catalogue. Let us face the facts, their first three albums did not indicate any kind of superior context. Worse still, "In Search of Sanity" offered a lot of mind-numbing parts. But apart from this slightly strange behaviour, I really like the band. They started with a more than solid debut, released a fascinating successor and "Killing Peace" marked a mighty comeback. Nevertheless, their masterpiece is the here presented work. "Sounds of Violence" shows the entire splendour of the awesome sub genre called thrash metal. Each and every song kills. Only the solid "Antitheist" cannot achieve the highest level, although it starts with good, sinister guitar tones. However, I would prefer to speak about the vast majority of songs that leads the listener into the thrash metal paradise. The most intriguing titles are maybe "Code Black" and "Rest in Pieces" - and they define the playground of the group at the same time.

"Code Black" takes off slowly. Its malignancy is based on the highly effective leads, while the ominous chorus heralds the "New World Order". Orwell would have loved it, not least because of the hopeless atmosphere that the guitars create at the ending of this track. "Rest in Pieces" is more dynamic and thrives on its phenomenal tempo changes that generate, among other things, the impulsive aura of the chorus. Furthermore, its exciting bridge provides passionate air-guitar players a good opportunity to practice their hobby. Both tracks have in common that Sy Keeler performs like a young god and the production gets the best out of the songs. But these statements go for the remaining pieces as well. Keeler expresses the entire spectrum of dark emotions and his approach matches the production. Its "sound of violence" should be prescribed by law. Anyway, the album holds advantages in abundance.

For example, the riffing of "Hatebox" pulls the listener irresistibly into the song, the fatalistic riffs at the beginning of the rapid "Born for War" kick off a worthy opener and "Suicideology" shows the group's whole arsenal of deadly weapons for the last time. Prepare yourself for battle in view of the flattening riffs, merciless drums, a comprehensible configuration which does not lack of depth or pressure and an energetic overall impression. I am really amazed about the unrelenting power of these old guys. (Some members of the band are even older than me. Unbelievable.) By the way, the powerful impression is emphasized by the fact that the breaks between the individual songs are very short. No rest for the wicked, like Anihilated, Onslaught's congenial compatriots, have already noticed.

I may not forget the bonus tracks. Surely, a cover version of "Bomber" and a new recording of "Angels of Death" are not very original. But Onslaught's interpretation of "Bomber" conveys its true spirit and the perfect production lends the number a high degree of pressure and massiveness. Close to the original version of Motörhead, but fresh and full of energy; this seems to be the right description. "Angels of Death" also sounds rejuvenated, almost like a new composition. Due to the liveliness of the spirited formation, the piece reveals its full potential. A very good bonus. Only the arrangement of the songs should have been done differently, because the outro separates the regular tunes from the additional tracks in a slightly disturbing way. But that's no big deal at all.

Whichever way you look at it, "Sounds of Violence" is definitely a masterpiece. It contradicts the pessimistic statement that thrash metal has already seen its best times. But even if it were true, albums like the here presented work have the untameable power to revitalize the whole sub genre. Maybe the ill-tempered critics are right when they say that the members of Onslaught are no men of conviction. Honestly speaking, I don't care. I leave this topic to the self-appointed metal academics who, of course, know everything better than I do. In my opinion, the degree of their conviction does not matter as long as the band releases outputs of this excellent quality. The musicianship of Keeler and his fellows and their amazing talent for the creation of compelling riffs, leads and melodies are of much more importance. As a result, my fingers bleed from pushing the repeat button again and again. It doesn't matter. Both bloody thumbs up for this raging, grim and indisputably violent album of the British legend.