I’ll call it here: Generation Antichrist is the best modern Thrash record of 2020. And this is coming from a lifelong Testament fan who realizes that those Bay Area thrashers dropped a new one in April.
But I digress.
For those not familiar with these unsung legends, Onslaught began in in England in 1983. That’s right, kiddies! They started across the pond the same year that Kill ‘Em All laid the foundation for all Thrash to come. They disbanded in 1991 but reunited with a tweaked line up in 2005 which has been ever evolving and continue to slay to this day. And after the short version of Onslaught’s history, you’re all caught up so welcome to 2020 and Generation Antichrist!
Punishing and pummeling with all killer and no filler, Generation Antichrist is akin to recent releases from Flotsam & Jetsam or The Offering in terms of modern Thrash and a new visceral intensity while still honoring the past. From the moment “Rise To Power” begins in the vein of classic intros from the ’80’s and then bleeds into the ferociousness of “Strike Fast Strike Hard”, it’s apparent why Onslaught has endured as long as they have.
Speaking of the latter, “Strike Fast Strike Hard” is like this amazing Thrash Metal combination of modern Prong and Testament with that angry intensity of early Megadeth with Dave Garnett’s growl reminiscent of Dave Mustaine’s iconic snarl. “Bow Down To The Clowns” is vicious from the opening drive of James Perry and Jeff Williams’ drum and bass rhythmic destruction through to the heavy shredding laid down by Nige Rockett and Wayne Dorman.
The title track is a new Thrash anthem with Garnett displaying every facet of his vocal personality within going to a commanding anthemic clean delivery into a raging bark before a monstrous chorus and a menacing breakdown heads to the dual decimation of Rockett and Dorman’s guitars inflicting more sonic damage.
“All Seeing Eye” features a beastly performance from Garnett while “Addicted to the Smell of Death” sounds just as you’d expect with Perry’s perfect percussive, um, onslaught sounding particularly pernicious. Echoes of Slayer ring on in “Empires Fall” and later, “Religiousuicide” is sheer shreddy briliance led by Garnett’s speedy cadence. Williams’ bass brings about the end as closing anthem, “A Perfect Day To Die”, perfectly wraps up Generation Antichrist in a cacophony of ragin’ vocals, heavy ass guitars, and another brutal battering of drumming.
Generation Antichrist lands on August 7th through AFM Records. You can pre-order your copy now in a variety of formats by clicking here. For more on Onslaught, follow them over the interwebs by clicking here, here, or here.