Onslaught / Fourwaykill / Dogma
25 November 2005
The Fleece, Bristol

Prior to tonight`s show, Rockers Digest was lucky enough to conduct interviews with both James Hinder of Onslaught and Chris Neighbour of Fourwaykill and these can be found at the links below:

James Hinder, Onslaught
Chris Neighbour, Fourwaykill

As a result of the interviews we unfortunately missed opening act Dogma.

This was my fourth encounter with Fourwaykill this year and they`ve never failed to impress me. Despite the volume being so loud tonight that just about everything was distorted, once again the bands bludgeoning sound proved a winner.

24 Hours To Die kick started the set as usual before Removing Face attempted to do just that with the scything riffing of Jay Walsh. Following a UK tour with Stuck Mojo, bassist Clive Bremner is now firmly ensconced in the Fourwaykill camp, and his stage presence is such that he occasionally pinches some of the attention from vocalist Chris Neighbour. This is no mean feat, as anyone who has seen the band live will now. Once again he`d obviously had too much Coca-Cola with his Jack Daniels judging form his hyperactive behaviour.

The sets high point had to be Trigger with drummer Rob Hicks marshalling its stop start delivery. The song is set to appear on forthcoming album Aggressor with the likes of the title track and Anti-All which were also aired tonight.

A dose of Fourwaykill proved to be the perfect prelude to Onslaught. Ricky Hatton was defending his WBA boxing title the following night and as Discipline drew to a close I felt like I`d just done a few rounds with him.

Fourwaykill set list:
24 Hours To Die / Removing Face / Trigger / Aggressor / Deadweight / Tappin The Vein / Anti-All / Discipline

Well I never thought I`d get the chance to see Onslaught again, but here I am in Bristol watching Nige Rockett play the opening riff to Let There Be Death. The faces are familiar, some of the haircuts not so, but fifteen years have passed and I look a bit different myself today! What hadn`t changed was the classic British thrash and as the song kicked in there are grins all around me. Right on cue vocalist Sy Keeler appeared on the drum riser behind Steve Grice to a huge cheer and another chapter in Onslaught`s history commenced.

The punky Angels Of Death from Power From Hell quickly followed before Keeler told us this was no way a nostalgia trip and that Onslaught are back. Around about this point in a gig you usually expect sound problems to be ironed out, but disappointingly they were not and Onslaught were left to battle against them all night. Steve Grice`s drums were way too loud in the mix, the guitars were too thin and the vocal feedback was painful at times. This was a shame, as underneath this Onslaught were doing the business with what appeared to be a very tight performance.

A number of new songs from forthcoming album Killing Peace were aired, with the title track proving to be the fastest of the bunch. Destroyer Of Worlds was the stand out track, with Keeler delivering a quick fire barrage of lyrics over the chorus. Seven string guitars were used giving the songs a heavier bottom end.

Guitarist Alan Jordan was the only new member of Onslaught and he did a fine job, with his lead breaks particularly impressive. James Hinder was as lively as ever and will surely wake up with one stiff neck this morning after a sustained bout of headbanging. The other half of the rhythm section, Steve Grice, who now sports short bleached blonde hair, played tightly, abusing his kit through the likes of Flame Of The Antichrist.

Of course Keeler did sing on the original recordings of In Search Of Sanity before being ousted and he get`s a show of hands from the sold out crowd for who bought it. The two songs played from it, Shellshock and Lightning War, came over much more aggressive with Keeler`s vocals. The man himself is a great frontman and his distinctive vocals are essential to the Onslaught sound.

The set came to a close with the band`s signature tune, Onslaught (Power From Hell) and at its conclusion, Keeler fell forward into the crowd who held him aloft passing him backwards.

Onslaught`s welcome return proved to be incredibly noisy, my ears are still ringing! But it was clear that there was some very promising new material lurking under the sound mix and I look forward to catching the band again, hopefully with a better sound.

Onslaught set list:
Let There Be Death / Angels Of Death / Metal Forces / Destroyer Of Worlds / Shellshock / Demoniac / Pain / Flame Of The Antichrist / Tested To Destruction / Killing Peace / Lightning War / Seeds Of Hate / Onslaught (Power From Hell)