Onslaught - Generation Antichrist

Onslaught Generation Antichrist cover
Generation Antichrist
AFM Records
One has got to give it up to Nige Rockett for keeping Onslaught going on, in one form or the other, for many years on end and despite all problems that seemed to plague them. Despite Sy Keelers exit from the band and the fact that three out of five members are newly minted on this album, the result is an album that can still stand side by side with any of the band’s post reunion albums. It’s obvious that the eighties heyday of the band is long past, but both the intention and the intensity are there along with the experience of Nige and the enthusiasm of his most recent cohorts, that actually make this concoction work and rather nicely, too.
After a short intro “Rise to Power” things get pretty much under the way, with the cataclysmic hard hitting “Strike Fast, Strike Hard”. Its title is a pretty apt description as the band manages to merge the American band’s ferocity with the German one’s cold but calculated attack in an amalgam, which quickens both, but copies neither. Without being over the top, Onslaught do a much better job than a lot of their peers that either struggle to produce convincing albums or only do so as an excuse to go on tour.
“Bow Down to the Clowns” comes without haste, with a crushing riff and rhythm behind it, obliterating anything in its way, with a chorus that condemns the various people in places of power, with a callousness that’s rather reminiscent of Testament at their best.
“Generation Antichrist” mocks the blind Christian faith that becomes a “cult of personality” trait, with a smart splicing of two different speeches, before it pulverizes everything with its Slayer like intensity. No gods, no masters, no blue haired chicks. Legit!
“All Seeing Eye” feels like the politically charged, slower and more refined cousin of one of Slayer’s biggest hits, but it’s drawing it’s inspiration from the American titans, doesn’t deprive it of its own character, or originality.
Just to rip things up and mosh it a little, the band introduces the somewhat sillier, but fun as hell “Addicted to the Smell of Death” whose title is somehow ironic, considering people’s apathy towards the very exclamation point of life itself… especially when it doesn’t concern them directly.
“Empires Fall” goes once more for a more groovy vibe, but when we say groovy, it’s nothing like the silly “nu-er” grooves that have been forged stateside since the mid-90s that seem to have dragged the entire extreme scene in murky waters,out of which only the most pretentious acts seem to rise. This is the “real deal”. Actually tackling a lyrical theme as “thorny” as they do, is brave and in echoing old school Sepultura among other things, I see no flaw in their approach.
“Religious Suicide” is Slaytanically intense and deliciously anti-religious (mostly anti-christian) with extremely rude lyrics that however the band doesn’t seem to mince their words around. Grande!
Last but not least, the somewhat more rock n’ roll inspired “A Perfect Day to Die”, sounds to my ears like the perfect mix between ‘Head and Venom slightly touched up from when it was introduced as a single last year and… a perfect way to bring the album to a close.
While it doesn’t manage to be comparable with the band’s early output… I guess the style did shift quite a lot back then too… it genuinely stands really well on its own. Onslaught 2020 manages to have something that a lot of their contemporaries have lost long since… intensity and sincerity. And guts…tons of them. No poseurs then!