Here we here at Bannermans for those UK thrash legends Onslaught, but first up we have two support bands to get through.
First up tonight we have UK thrash boys Anihilated who are touring on the back of their excellent album 2015’s Anti Social Engineering. It is hard to believe they have been on the go in one form or other since 1981 with original members Si on bass/vocals and Bod on drums.
The band tear through a short but excellent set with all the intensity of an old school thrash band as you would expect and you can see why they are so suited to this tour. The twin guitarists of Danny and Sergio are killer players with Si just a dream on bass and vocals with the powerhouse Bod bringing up the rear. This is another old school band who should be much bigger than they are particularly after last years’ excellent album and it is the title track from it that is a stand out song for me tonight. Since then, the album has been on constantly in my office at work.
I hope the boys are not away long and come back on their own headline tour. Get in early on the tour and check them out!
Next are UK’s Beholder with a slightly less thrash sound but nonetheless enjoyable, fronted by lead man Simon who is a joy to watch on stage with his singing and getting the crowd going.
The band have had a great deal of good press over their recent The Order of Chaos album as well as their debut The Awakening, and rightly so. The band have a kind of crossover sound somewhere between metal and grunge/doom with the vocals of Simon and guitarist Scott, with Si on bass sounding like Alice in Chains at times with the harmonies.
The crowd were a bit quieter for Beholder than Anihilated which may have been the slight change in pace with Simon encouraging them all to come up front. The band have a mixture of excellent tracks tonight from their albums with some top notch guitar work from Scott looking like cousin “It” from the Adams Family – a huge mop of hair over his face for most of the night.
There was some frantic enjoyable bass playing from Si, ably backed up by Chris on drums. I totally enjoyed Simon on vocals as he is a great front man for the band and I loved the band’s sound tonight – I already have their albums on my Spotify playlisting. Another enjoyable support slot band. Get in early and check out both bands – you will definitely enjoy the warm-up.
So the headliners next on their “The Full Force” Tour celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Force album, believe it or not, which is getting played in full tonight.
As the intro kicks in, the crowd start to cheer and then they begin to move as the guitar of Nige kicks in, heralding “Let There Be Death” with its killer lead intro riffing. As both guitars come into play the crowd erupts with furious headbanging as the moshing starts in good style. We become “Metal Forces” next as my favourite off the album comes alive on stage, with the twin guitar style really coming into its own. Sy’s unique voice has lost none of its killer edge – this is pure classic thrash metal at its best and you can see why we were all excited to hear the album in its entirety.
The band are on fire tonight with Jeff on bass a joy to watch from a foot away (yes they were that close), Mic a pure drumming powerhouse at the rear and Iain’s guitar playing complemented Nige perfectly as he came up to hover over us down the front.
“The Fight with the Beast” is next and, man, those moshers are hitting me big time from behind. A killer track and we get all “Demoniac” next with Mic really shining here – man, he can hit those skins. “The Flame of the Antichrist” follows as Mic thumps us in before the guitarists slowly kick in and then all hell breaks loose, a truly neckbreaking track.
We have already signed up as metal fans but “Contract in Blood” next seals that pact in good style with its killer riffage, and you can see why this album means so much to the faithful. The last track from The Force next, and a truly fitting one, as we “Thrash Till the Death”. Make no mistake, the crowd are up for it tonight as I get knocked out the way temporarily as the band kill it, cameras and all splayed over the front stage monitors. I’m glad I kept them tight to my body! All part of the fun at the front and I would not have it any other way.
The band treat us to several more tracks including the awesome “66’fucking’6” which always gets the crowd going and singing. This is a track most major thrash bands wish they had written and with Sy’s awesome voice it goes down a storm.
The band end the night with some truly killer “Thermonuclear Devastation”, a fitting end to a awesome night of thrash at it’s truly best. Onslaught, I think, were all set for another but the house lights are now on and the PA system blares out and we all sigh but what a truly awesome night with three amazing bands and a packed house of hot and sweaty bodies.
I would encourage you all to get out the the shows watch all the bands, get a shirt, CDs, get things signed by all and above all… Feel the Force that is Onslaught!!!
All photos by Gary Cooper.