Fuckin’ A! ONSLAUGHT’s resurgence into modern Thrash has finally capitulated in a full-length release that rivals all. “Killing Peace” hosts nine masterpieces that capture every tenet of Thrash while delivering a devastating spectrum of riffs. Fans who purchased EXODUS’ “Tempo Of The Damned” but longed for a touch of DEMIRICOUS can look to “Killing Peace” as an oasis that will receive much acclaim and praise throughout the year.
ONSLAUGHT’s lyrics have evolved from pro-Satan to anti-God. Many songs focus on religious themes, such as “Twisted Jesus” and “Prayer For The Dead,” but the lyrics aren’t as rough as those written in the church-burning Black Metal scene. “Jesus hates me; violates me,” “I hate you religiously,” “Religion is dead; religion is hate,” and “Spitting blood in the face of God” sum up ONSLAUGHT’s treatise on religion with several other themes making minor appearances.
Sy Keeler delivers an array of vocal stylings with screams reminiscent of EXODUS’ Rob Dukes with perhaps a harsher tinge of Death Metal brutishness. As with any Thrash act ONSLAUGHT are not afraid to insert the F-bomb into every song, and every time they do it adds meaning. The band arranges their lyrics in a captivating manner that leaves every listener repeating “Ashes to ashes; dust to fucking dust” after the first track.
Musically “Killing Peace” provides everything a Thrasher could want: great riffs, split parts with old school fourths, evolved lead work that remains true to the melodic spirit of Thrash’s big names, and the return of the locking tremolo. Every riff could have appeared on a 1985 release, but the musicians play their parts with such conviction that each note rings true to the new millennia; however, the album is not without fault.
ONSLAUGHT exhibit a few problems in song structure. The musicians play straight Thrash in dropped tunings while the choruses include the repetitive patterns and high pitches found on many 80’s releases. However, the songs are well-executed and the musicianship is top-notch. The only thing that prevents this release from achieving a perfect 10 lies inability of the band to avoid that ever-so-common bass-to-snare beat at 180 to 220 beats per minute. Drum rolls and breakdowns detract from the common thread, but every song on “Killing Peace” goes there at some point.
“Burn,” “Twisted Jesus,” and “Shock ‘N’ Awe” provide the finest moments on the release, with “Shock ‘N’ Awe” displaying a fantastic burst into hyper-speed picking. The concluding track leaves the listener wanting more, and if ONSLAUGHT can rise from the ashes after a decade’s rest they certainly have the potential to deliver future surprises.
(Online March 25, 2007)