Onslaught - LIVE: The Garage, London 2011

Scream For Violence Tour
September 23 (22:15-23:30)
Capacity 630

Up until this run of dates Onslaught's Scream For Violence Tour, supporting latest album Sounds of Violence, had taken them everywhere around Europe except extensively through their home nations. This leg was therefore set to take in eleven cities, with London third.

The show would end up being another unnecessarily late finish for London, thanks again to the promoter booking too many support bands. The rest of the Sounds of Violence UK tour had Gama Bomb as special guests, and Fallen Fate opening. For no real good reason promoters Terrorizor added resurgent '80s thrashers Nightlord to the London bill, in the process reducing Onslaught to a tight 70 minutes on stage, which really isn't enough for a headliner. Why promoters feel that they need to overload the bills in London in order to sell tickets, when most people only really care about the headliner and would feel like they were getting far more value for money with one decent opener and a longer set for the main band, remains a mystery. And if they're going to do it, at least add a band who are going to bring fans. The Nightlord t-shirt count of two in the less-than-full venue really didn't seem to justify doing it.

But they continue to do it anyway, and three tedious sets later, Onslaught finally took the stage at 22:15, comfortably at least 45 minutes later than a headlining act would normally be expected on stage in London.

Onslaught deserve a lot of credit for dealing with the situation by cutting out almost all interaction with the crowd and more or less squeezing their normal set into the restricted time frame. Barely anything was dropped from their regular setlist, and not wasting time with drum/guitar solo spots or extending songs with crowd interaction (something other bands could certainly learn from) meant the fans didn't actually miss out. The disc only saw three songs aired, the same amount taken from previous album Killing Peace, while recognised classic The Force contributed most of the rest of the set as normal, plus the usual couple of tracks taken from Power From Hell. However, the resurrecting of Shellshock, from the Steve Grimmett-fronted In Search of Sanity album was a rare treat for fans, and was another example of how updating the older material to the band's new, heavier sound is a real benefit.

All four bands enjoyed crystal clear sound all night, so Onslaught had no worries there, and their boundless energy and frenetic pace in order to fit everything in coupled with the heavy sound and sharp clarity made the show all the better. As vocalist Sy Keeler pointed out, it's something like 20 years since Onslaught last headlined a show in London, which given their significance is ridiculous, and it makes the adding of bands to the bill that little bit more insulting. Hopefully for their next run through the UK they're treated a little more respectfully. Performances and material like theirs deserve it.

“ boundless energy and frenetic pace ”

Setlist: Killing Peace / Born For War / Let There Be Death / The Sound of Violence / Angels of Death / Planting Seeds of Hate / Metal Forces / Code Black / Shellshock / Flame of The Antichrist / Demoniac / Burn // Onslaught (Power From Hell)

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Gigs, Thrash Metal,

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