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ONSLAUGHT - Power From Hell

Release date February 1985

Part of the early thrash movement, Onslaught dropped their debut opus Power From Hell on an unsuspecting public in early 1985. Suitably starting off with an announcement from the horned one himself, 'Onslaught (Power From Hell)' then initiates the bludgeoning that is to come. Taking detuned guitars for that beyond-heavy doom feel and then playing at d-beat velocities was a stroke of genius. 'Thermonuclear Devastation' detonates next in one minute thirty-eight seconds of hardcore punk aggression that remains one of my favorite early thrash metal tracks of all time. Brutally beautiful stuff.

The remainder of this debut is equally as obliterating and enticing. From the headbanging quasi-instrumentals ('Skullcrusher I' and 'Skullcrusher II") to the devastating 'Witch Hunt', Power From Hell is both heavy-as-hell and memorable. Not easy to do. Love Paul Mahoney's gurgle vox too, providing that extra grime to an already potent mix of metal and punk. Concluding with an excerpt from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana ('O Fortuna') was also a masterstroke. Classic.

Notes:

  • This could just as easily be considered part of the first wave of black metal given its release date and overt references to Satan.

  • Confusingly, this also includes a track entitled 'Death Metal', which was published before death metal's first full length was released later that year (Possessed's Seven Churches).

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