Classic thrashers are unleashed in Cardiff
The glorious stench of B.O, beer and unwashed denim can only mean one thing – thrash night at Cardiff’s number one rock bar, Fuel. Though the rain is pissing it down in biblical fashion in the capitol, a handful of metal’s most faithful come surging into the venue to witness a very furiously heavy night of classic, fist to your face metal.
Things seem to be somewhat tame to begin with as Anihilated  take to the stage.
Given the thirty-five years this band have been circling the metal scene around the UK, the quartet throw all their punches with a set that could give Usain Bolt a run for his money. Vocalist and bass pounder, Si Cobb, has all the attributes you would expect from your ‘no fucks given’ thrash band. Eyeing up the crowd with his crazy peepers got the blood flowing, as the first mosh pits begin to form. Ending on a high note, Anihilated bring the thunder to accompany the terrible weather and leave our faces sloshing on the ground.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Beholder [4.5]. Considering their mixed power-doom-stoner sound, this foursome would have served the night better as the show’s opener.
Over complicated drumming and bombast vocals are one of the dragging points of the band that left a big question mark over our heads. For such heavy, doom-laden riffs that yearn for a dirty, grittier sound, it all seemed a little out of place. There is some chemistry between the band and their audience, but ultimately don’t quite make the mark as well as their counterparts.
Riding in on their chariot of hellfire, Onslaught 
punch the living life out of the audience with a sonic dose of adrenaline that takes the venue by force. Looking a little grey around the edges, however don’t be fooled, vocalist Sy Keeler has lost no
ne of his tenacity or spirit for his passion for metal. His presence as a metal frontman is a window into the past of British thrash as he nails every operatic screech, vicious bark and growl without breaking a sweat. Ten minutes into the set and the pits are flying in quick, fast and flailing in a whirlwind of beer drenched chaos. Long-serving axeman Nige Rockett with fellow shredder Iain GT Davies, charge through the entirety of 1986’s classic, The Force, with relative ease and unbridled fury. After about an hour of playing old school bangers, classics in their repertoire such as the mighty Power From Hell, it sends the veterans in the back into absolute frenzy. An awesome sight for anyone to witness on a Tuesday night.
As the room is engulfed with red illuminated smoke that overwhelms the band as well as the crowd, the end doesn’t exactly seem to be in sight as they keep rolling on. Anything over an hour is a hefty set but they seem to pull it off without even the slightest signs of fatigue. When you’re playing at break neck speed for that amount of time, it’s nothing short of miraculous. In terms of pace, apart from the odd lull, the west-country titans don’t hold back. Whatever was left of our spinal cord was thoroughly devastated come the end of the night. With fan favourite 66’fucking’6 being hurled into the encore, if our brains weren’t already pulverised into a fine paste, they were now. Overall, Onslaught show their grit and persevere to keep the spirit of 80s thrash alive in a display for the ages.
Words: Hywel Davies
Photo Credit: Sadie Roseanne Griffiths