Underground British thrash band Onslaught released this, their third studio album, in 1989. And amongst a number of line-up changes, it features Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett. And here we get a bonus disc of some fantastic live material.
Formed in 1982 in Bristol, England, by guitarist Nige Rockett and drummer Steve Grice, the band were originally influenced by hardcore bands before, through a number of demos, moving in a more heavy metal direction.
Are two well received thrash metal albums, Onslaught recorded In Search Of Sanity with Steve Grimmett,
Opener Asylum is a five minute atmospheric soundscape, polished yet spooky, before the title track crashes in. And it’s fantastic. Tighter than a camel’s backside in a sandstorm, and running to over seven minutes there’s room for some guitar solos, riffing and interweaving, almost giving a progressive touch. Classic thrash at its British best. The next track Shellshock (running to over six minutes of thrash, the hardcore shackles long gone) does what it says on the tin. Then Lightning War which is fast and heavy, a headbanger’s delight.
Many tracks are longer than you’d expect; Blood On The Ice is over 8 minutes and Welcome To Dying runs to 12, there’s never a dull moment.
On the fun yet classic rocking side, there’s a cover of AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock. While it lacks the finesse and the edge of the original (OK it’s good but a tad ordinary), they’ve put their own stamp on it and the guitar remains blistering.
The original CD bonus track Confused is included, and on the bonus disc there’s a period live show which features some blistering high octane thrash, Steve Grimmett showing his skills as frontman. The intensity of the live performance, from the twin guitars and through the rhythm section, is turned up to eleven throughout.
While the original album may have split fans, the longer songs and more polished approach, in retrospect it is largely a wonderful thrash metal album with guitars aplenty. It sounds good and with the bonus live material, it’s one for Onslaught fans and thrash fans across the board. 8/10
Steve Grimmett – vocals
Nige Rockett – guitar
Rob Trottman – guitar
James Hinder – bass, backing vocals
Steve Grice – drums, backing vocals
Disc: 1 Original album
2. In Search of Sanity
4. Lightning War
5. Let There Be Rock
6. Blood Upon the Ice
7. Welcome to Dying
Disc: 2 live in 1989 at the Bristol Hippodrome
1. In Search of Sanity
3. Fight With the Beast
4. Blood Upon the Ice
5. Metal Force
6. Lightning War
7. Welcome to Dying
8. Let There Be Rock