CONCERT REVIEW: ONSLAUGHT | Hard Luck Bar

ONSLAUGHT

WORDS BY: GIANCARLO CORTEZ

Thrash Invasion 2014 hit Toronto’s Hard Luck bar on November 9, 2014. As Onslaught (feat. Neil Turbin) took over with support from Artillery, VX36, and Eclipse Prophecy.

Montreal based band Eclipse Prophecy started the thrash party with their power metal. Unfortunately, the Hard Luck bar was almost empty at the time. They had warrior choruses plus double kicks. However, the show was sadly tinged by anticlimax.

Next up we got VX36. While the Americans are not close to North American wide adulation, their modern thrash metal has potential. The crowd responded. Not a full house but those few responded.

Yet as most newer bands, VX36 is not without its faults. The flow never seemed quite right. Plus, the pacing could feel repetitive.

Over three on-again/off-again decades amids enough lineup changes to impress even Dave Mustaine, Danish band Artillery returned with Legions. New singer Michael Bastholm sets the bar high on just how much love can exist between a crowd and a band. Their classic “By Inheritance” is a neck snapping rager. The Danish almost stole the show.

Once regarded as Britain’s brightest thrashes Onslaught are really keeping up with modern demands. They sound as vital as they did 20 years ago. It was like getting hit by a runaway train. As soon as “Killing Peace “kicked in, the crowd went berserk.

Their touring plants were on hold (current singer Sy Keeler was not available for the tour) for a minute until they found Neil Turbin, who’s known for being the first full-time vocalist for New York thrashers Anthrax and current lead vocalist for DeathRiders.

Legendary guitarplayer Nige Rockett cartwheels around the guitar fretboard with ridiculous ease.“Rest In Pieces” and “66’fucking’6” are live staples. And I thought Slayer hated organized religion…  The Brits spent the night lashing out at false prophets and Bible-thumping world leaders. I guess the church picnics won`t be calling anytime soon.

They’re built for that small club and crowd standing right in front of them, which makes the Hard Luck bar a perfect venue. Toward the end Neil Turbin was untouchable, invoking a voice not too far removed from vintage Rob Halford. If they didn’t trust him they would not have him in the band. Their new VI album is a strong comeback effort that will hopefully begin a new era for the Brits instead of writing their epitaph.

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