The last two days of September 2006 marked the final time I would attend Bloodstock without the fear of getting drenched during one of our fine British summers. Once the Yorkshire gloomy doom merchants My Dying Bride left the stage then every band after that would be in the fresh country air.
Friday seemed like we’d been transported to a patch of land in Germany for half a day. Primal Fear from Esslingen headlined over Bochum’s Axel Rudi Pell, Savage Circus and Majesty were also from Deutschland. Brummie band Marshall Law opened up the main stage and I doubt they could converse in German back stage.
Saturday was a much more international affair. Amongst the smattering of British bands there were also representatives from Sweden (Deathstars), Machine Men and Omnium Gatherum hailing from Finland and another Germanic band in the shape of Brainstorm.
I’ve seen Bristolian thrashers fifteen times, soon to be sixteen on Friday. For a long time I thought Bloodstock 2006 was the first time I’d seen the band live, but as I realised yesterday I saw them in June of the same year up in Bradford.
I also thought that they’d be one of two of the bigger UK thrash metal bands that would elude me in a live setting. By then I’d already seen Xentrix, Acid Reign, Slammer, D.A.M., Sabbat and that just left Onslaught and I had to wait another seven years before I caught Re-Animator.
Onslaught played Stoke on their tour supporting the In Search of Sanity album. It was in the Zoo Club, on the outskirts of Hanley, but yet again at a time when I wasn’t driving.
If you’re intrigued about the much maligned UK thrash metal scene I highly recommend Ian Glasper’s book on the scene, Contract in Blood (named after an Onslaught track). There are lots of insights from back in the day and it’s brought right up to 2018 with bands doing the circuit now. Early Onslaught owes more to Stoke legends Discharge, and until I read their chapter in the book I didn’t realise that their debut album was recorded I a snowy Stoke in the AVM studios used by Discharge for 1982’s Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing album. Follow the link and check out the book and the accompanying 5 disc soundtrack from Cherry Red Records. There will be bands you’ve never heard of.
Why a band of Onslaught’s caliber are on so early at a home festival I really don’t understand. Second band on at the unreasonable time of 11:45am for a measly 35 minutes. I personally would have put them very slightly over Memoriam and definitely higher Wednesday 13. I probably would have ditched the “shock rockers” completely and give Suicidal Tendencies longer. But that’s yet another gripe with the festival.
We have to be there early though as they’ve been pretty inactive since their last dates at the tail end of 2017 and this is their debut performance with another shake up in the ranks with a new guitarist and drummer. A brand new track is also promised.
This track is from their 2011 album The Sounds of Violence released by AFM Records.