SKULL162

MALICIOUS ONSLAUGHT, Thrashed Black (1988, demo)

The skull:
Crude lo-brow artwork here, but it’s a death/thrash demo cassette from 1988, what do you expect? This poor guy is hanging on desperately to his remaining eye and hoping for no more damage. Here’s been through enough already. An eye out and a cleaved skull that slices his head from the upper left side almost clean through to the opposite eye. There’s hardly a demo cover more crudely cult-looking than this!

The music:
I love all those old bands whose name or album title tried to exactly describe their music. Albums like Extreme Aggression or Intense Brutality. Thanks for letting us know! Does Malicious Onslaught deliver a malicious onslaught? Yes they do! It’s pretty raw, which is appropriate for what they’re doing: a fusion of Show No Mercy-era Slayer with the caffeinated aggression of early Sadus and R.A.V.A.G.E. Only without the same skill level. You can hear these guys are pretty green on this tape. It’s a bit junky, a bit malnourished. But I like it. An otherworldly vocal approach would have worked better — this dude sounds too hardcore, in the D.R.I. vein. More Petrozza and less Brecht would’ve been cool. There’s a weird part in “Revenge of the Innocent” that brings in a cosmic element, followed by a short passage that gets back into metal but stays weird, then it goes all too quickly back to thrashing and crashing. Interesting stuff that I’d recommend to fans of the aforementioned bands, and anyone into madcap Florida band Hellwitch too. Glad I stumbled upon this — it’s not as bad as expected. I thought maybe it would be second-rate death metal or clunky necro black metal, considering the labels that later released their records (JL America and Unisound, respectively), but it’s more interesting than that, and a little weird at times. They did change quite a bit by the time of the death-swamped Brutal Gore album (more truth in advertising), but Thrashed Black is just good harmless intensity. Some of the clumsy playing actually adds to the strangeness and charm.
— Friar Wagner

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