THRASH is dead, long live thrash! When the NWOBHM met punk and classic rock in a dark alleyway the bastard child of this unholy threesome was born, kicking and screaming and was dubbed thrash metal.

Ebbing and flowing throughout decades, thrash has always been there since, and Belfast was battered by the Thrash Invasion of Onslaught and Artillery in a joyous cacophony of thrash in Limelighgt2 on Monday (July 14th).

Thomas growls for
audience thrashing
With Hatriot dropping out of the line-up earlier in the year local pretenders Donum Dei picked up the mantle, and threw it into the face of the audience.

Each and every time Donum Dei have demonstrated improvements and composure that belies their age.

Thomas is growing as a commanding front man, his vocal range developing and his guitar work melding with Stuart's lead work, as more and more harmony playing and riffs brought old and young down to the front as the venue filled.

Despite their nervousness beforehand and a small stage to work with Donum Dei impressed, in particular with the anthemic Justice Fails just one of the highlights. Dean and Alistair anchored the whole sound, which makes the sound all the more forceful.
Donum Dei live at the Limelight

Artillery have been knocking around for years across different line-ups (interview with Michael Stutzer ahead of the tour can be found here), but they have emerged from the shadows to take their place in the pantheon of thrash.

With latest album Legions earning plaudits tracks played live have an urgency and a potency with Michael Bastholm Dahl looking relaxed as he bellowed out the album opener Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh) and the title track.
Michael strikes a thrash pose

However, this was a showcase of Artillery's arsenal of tracks. Michael and Morten have a telepathic understanding across their guitar work, while Madsen and Thorslund seem to be having a great time, in particular on By Inheritance and Terror Squad.

Never past it to thrash
What cannot be doubted is that Artillery have earned the right to have more recognition and more widespread listenership, and their d├ębut performance in Belfast was an extravaganza of musical force.

Onslaught have brought their own type of thrash force to Belfast from the 80s, and always try (and often manage) to ink the city into their schedules.

This show was part of the VI tour cycle, and it was a tour de force of thrash metal -  in fact a masterclass in playing any type of  metal on a stage.
Six-stinger plus
photographer = this!

Sy might have protested at being tired beforehand as he got back into the touring rhythm, but he indulged every request for an autograph or picture with fans, young and old, and fronting the Onslaught attack there was no sign of weariness as he launched into Killing Peace and Chaos is King.

This show was thrash brought to relevance, brought with the dichotomy of ferocity and friendliness. Nice guys each and every one of them, the band is a clenched fist smashing the audience into submission, followed by a smile and a bit of banter.

Nige and Leigh traded licks, while Jeff played a blinder on bass and Mic kept the whole thing from flying into musical orbit. Destroyer of Worlds, yep Onslaught manage to do Born for War.
that, as if they were really
Have hair, have guitar - time to thrash!

From VI the track 66 Fucking 6 has all the makings of a favourite for years to come, as was evidenced through the audience reaction to the chorus - band and fans bonded as 'chaos legions'.

The experience and musicianship of Onslaught has never been in doubt, and with a balanced back catalogue they are the most under rated of British metal bands. Screw what the magazines or TV channels might tell you is 'cool' or 'hip' because they by-pass what all present on Monday witnessed a band at its peak, Metal Forces that truly bring the musical Power from Hell.
Sy sights thrashing
audience through the gloom
Onslaught - Belfast salutes you!

What the audience saw were three bands with metal in their hearts and a love of playing burning throughout their bodies: Young pretenders Donum Dei proving that potential can be realised; Artillery delivering on past promise with sheer power; and, Onslaught simply awesome as one of the true inheritors of the thrash crown. Time to make way on the Iron Throne for the Bristolians.

Review by Jonny
Photos courtesy of MetalPlanet
Interview with Nige will be published later this week
Thanks to James Loveday's Distortion Project and all those backing these bands!

Authors: Jonny

Read More: