Onslaught (1982-1991, 2005-present): a Thrash Metal band from Bristol, UK.


riginally designed to be a punk/heavy metal hybrid, the thrash metal band Onslaught was conceived in Bristol, England in 1982 by Nige Rockett (guitar) and Steve Grice (drums). With the addition of Paul Mahoney (vocals) and Jason Stallord to replace original members Roge Davies and Paul Davis respectively, they recorded Power From Hell on the indie 'COR' ('Children of the Revolution') label in 1985.

Their next release, The Force (1986), on 'Under One Flag' (a subsidiary of 'Music For Nations') saw them expand their membership with Sy Keeler taking up the vocals and Mahoney taking up bass, while Stallord switched to rhythm guitar. The album boasted a strong Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer influence but lacked from little original input. Nonetheless, the album was much more successful than Power From Hell, and is considered a classic by many critics and fanzines. Mahoney would end off leaving soon after to be replaced by James Hinder on bass.

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By 1987, Stallard was dismissed when his guitar playing came into question, and was replaced by Rob Trotman.

In Search Of Sanity (1989), the next release, was Onslaught's desperate attempt at making it. It was released by 'London Records', but not before Keeler was replaced by request of the record label who preferred a more 'polished' vocal style; Steve Grimmett (ex-Grim Reaper) would assume the role. The album's production was halted during the membership change to be re-recorded in the new signer's vocals. When it finally surfaced in 1989, producer Stephan Galfas had watered down the band's original more aggressive sound in an effort to make the album more commercially successful. After all was said and done, even their cover of AC/DC's Let There Be Rock, a release that got them a UK 50, proved less powerful than desired, even when released as a single (it had previously been released in their original aggressive style). Another single, Shellshock, also failed to beef up their popularity with their hardcore fan base. The album lacked much of their hard-line thrash metal style in favor of a more mainstream sound. Despite the mixed critical reaction, the album managed a UK 46, their only album to ever chart, but over-all it proved to be a poor idea that failed. Grimmett quit in 1990; Tony O'Hara would replace him, but the label dropped the band soon after, and the members went their separate ways thereafter.

In 2005, the band was reformed under the membership of by Steve Grice, Sy Keeler, Nige Rockett and James Hinder, along with guitarist Alan Jordan. Before the release of the next album Killing Peace (2007), Hinder left, to be replaced by Jeff Williams.

In 2008, a compilation of their early demos would arrive in the form of Shadow of Death. However, also in 2008, Jordan left and was replaced by Andy Rosser-Davies. In November of that year, the band recorded their live performance at the Damnation Festival in Leeds, UK resulting in a live album Live Damnation (2009; Dual Disc CD/DVD).

March 2011 would see Steve Grice leave the band on the eve of a major European tour. Michael Hourihan (ex-Extreme Noise Terror and Desecration) replaced him for the tour and in November 2011 became a full member of the band. The next album, VI (2013) arrived two years later.

Former Anthrax singer Neil Turbin joined the band for the Thrash Invasion tour of US, Canada, Brazil and Chile in 2014 when Sy Keeler was unable to take part due to family problems. 2014 would also see the arrival of another live effort, Onslaught LIVE at SLAUGHTERHOUSE Recorded at London O2 ACADEMY Islington.

2015 saw Iain GT Davies step in as a full-time replacement for Rosser, but this lasted only 2 years when he and Hourihan left.

The next line-up change would be in 2018 leaving the membership as Nige Rockett (guitar), Sy Keeler (vocals), Jeff Williams (bass), Wayne Dorman (guitar) and James Perry (drums).

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Nation UK
Location Bristol
Genre Thrash Metal
Formations 2
Active Years 1982-1991, 2005-
Last Modified 2023-10-29
Diskery ID 349

Artists Linked to Onslaught

AC/DC Anthrax Extreme Noise Terror
Grim Reaper Metallica Mudhoney

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