To say 2020 has been a clusterfuck of a year is an understatement. Despite all the issues surrounding COVID-19, there’s been plenty to look forward to in the metal. Just in time for the decreasing lockdown measures as the world recovers, comes the seventh LP from thrash legends Onslaught – Generation Antichrist. There’s been plenty to talk about, and the band certainly have something to say with the new record.
Intro track “Rise to Power” sets the tone with its distorted old radio broadcast sounds leading into a building doomy stomp before the pace picks up. Segueing straight into “Strike Fast Strike Hard”, the song pulls no punches. This is blistering thrash straight off the bat – high speed, hooky and headbanging. The song is a rallying cry to stand up to oppression, and raging riffs make a perfect soundtrack to mosh pits and protest riots alike.
Following video spawner “Bow Down to the Clowns” takes aim at the joke of political leadership and the collective division they’ve sown in many countries with their incompetence. The tempo goes down a little to a more steady pace with slightly more simple riffs offset by the pounding drums. There’s more gang shouts here setting the album up to be an awesome banger at live shows. The title track follows, with it’s moody intro beneath the speech of a bible-bashing preacher discussing today’s youth’s lack of faith. The speed then kicks in as the band unleash more killer thrashing riffs and group vocals. “No Gods. No Masters. My Generation Antichrist. My generation of autonomy,” perfectly sums up today’s increasingly secular society, living life without being bound by the stranglehold of antiquated storybooks.
Generation Antichrist so far is showcasing Onslaught at their best. The band have had a few lineup changes since the last record, VI, in 2013. Original guitarist Nige Rockett and long term bassist Jeff Williams are on top form, backed up by new six-stringer and skin-pounder, Wayne Dorman and James Perry respectively – the duo having thrashed with the band on stage in the past few years. New vocalist David Garnett more than fills the big boots left behind by Sy Keeler with plenty of throat-shredding shouts and growls in a style reminiscent of his predecessor, yet still his own sound. The new iteration of Onslaught is tight and energetic with the injection of fresh blood making the new material some serious ragers.
The trend continues with chugging verses and punky moments in “All Seeing Eye” and breakneck thrashing of “Addicted to the Smell of Death”. The latter also highlights some more shredding solos and shoutalong moments. “Empires Fall” brings the tempo down a touch with a stomping verse and tight varying kick drums driving the riffs. Penultimate track (and lyric video spawner), “Religiousuicide” is a final barrage of relentless full-speed thrash that gets the neck wrecked from start to finish. Closer “A Perfect Day to Die” is a fun number with a more punky vibe crossed with more bluesy sounds, particularly in the solos. After a good flowing stream of heavy tracks, it’s a perfect way to the album.
Generation Antichrist is a killer modern thrash album from Onslaught. It’s refreshing to hear the band on top form, especially after seven years since the last LP. The band are more energetic than ever, with a solid collection of slamming heavy songs. There isn’t a dud to be found with each track being hooky and varied but still straight-up Onslaught. When the band can hit the road again, you can be sure Generation Antichrist will rouse a riotous mosh on every stage.
Generation Antichrist will be released on the 7th of August via AFM Records.