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Klub Foot, Hammersmith, London, England


Jase Stallard and Sy Keeler (Onslaught)
Pic: Mike Exley

So much for a quiet night! Onslaught are back in town; but supporting Girlschool? Never mind, I doubt any normal metal fan could make his presence felt if they tried. Perched on the edge of the stage, Sy and the Bristol hurricanes put in motion ‘Let There Be Death’ and the masochists went berserk out front. As the track developed it kept hitting me firmly between the earlobes – the sound was so clear. After the Palais in May it was nice to see that the layers of River Avon slime had been dredged from the Onslaught sound and that, now, the chords were flowing from the guitars of Messrs. Stallard and Rockett like pure gold. ‘Demoniac’ was a thrashing classic, as was its successor ‘Flame Of The Antichrist’ with its classic riff slashing the skin of the ear drums like a rabid werewolf.

The progression of thrash bands is something which jokers in our music press cite as being its failing in some cases, but I believe in forcibly pinning their ears back, whipping out the cotton wool and letting some serious noise get at their sensitive shell-likes. From now on I recommend ‘Blood Upon The Ice’ as the panacea for the bar-bound journalist. This track should show up on the band’s third album due to be recorded in February ’87. It has Metallica-style epic written all over it, but fortunately it leaves the Alcoholica ones well behind. It is a classic pounder with a shinning performance from Sy Keeler in the vocal region.

After this, the band returned to The Force with our theme song ‘Metal Forces’, and then nostalgia took hold of me with a great mix of ‘Power From Hell’ and ‘Angels Of Death’ proving that the band haven’t left the old material in the grave. Subtlety was never one of Onslaught’s traits as far as I can remember, and ‘Fight With The Beast’ has the neck muscles doing world record times in the front, with West Country’s pilgrims leading the way.

At this point Girlschool decided enough was enough, which was far from popular, but I sensed a bulldozing effect as the band took to the stage again and launched into a blistering ‘Thrash Till The Death’, which seemed to have some extra vigour brought on no doubt by the very unladylike attitude of Girlschool. Think about it girls – would you have had much of an audience without Onslaught?

London’s demolished, but happy once again.

Mike Exley

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 21 (1986)