Sounds of Violence

AFM Records 2011

Veteran UK thrashers Onslaught have loosed upon the world their second album since their resurrection.  As with 2007's Killing Peace, Onslaught have advanced their sound away from the rougher underground roots of their classic period towards a more polished and modern style.  Born For War gets the ball rollin' with a scathing main riff and a Slayer-esque groove in the bridge.  Thick grooves command your feet to stomp in the title-track.  But the track feels a little flat to me.  An ominous bounce opens Code Black and the whole track marches to a Testament styled mid-tempo crunch.  But the song has just too controlled and modern a feel for my tastes.  However Rest In Pieces churns out some bludgeoning thrash riffs.  A violent Exodus section is bookended by sawing riffs.  I just wish the chorus maintained the momentum of the song rather than settling back into a slowed down groove.  Sticking with a modern groove is Antitheist.  As the album closes out, the most full-on frontal assault of shredding thrash riffage is belted out on Suicidology!  A flowing stream of flesh-scorching guitarwork sprays out of the speakers as the song mercilessly charges along.  As a bonus track this CD features Onslaught's totally awkward sounding cover of Motorhead's Bomber.  Throughout this whole affair Sy Keeler's vocals bounce between the deep power of Chuck Billy's voice and the frantic screams of Tom Araya which lends the tracks a bit of variety.  If you can't handle Onslaught with a cleaner, more modern approach to their thrash then you should steer clear of Sounds of Violence.  But if you can handle an album of refined power akin to modern Slayer then Sounds of Violence should be right up your alley.