launch player  

Right at the beginning...

Onslaught was founded in 1983 by Bristol punk rockers Nige Rockett (guitar) and Steve Grice (drums) who worked together at a local printing house. Together with Jace Pope (vocals) and Paul Hill (bass), the band began rehearsals, creating melodies in a style strongly influenced by second-generation punk bands such as Discharge, the Exploited and GBH. By nature Hardcore, the music was simple and nihilistic, picking up the discontented spirit of the time.  The band's earliest live performances date to around this time and are the subject of some speculation, although perceived wisdom records the band's first official concert at the Summit Club in Kingswood, Bristol, in late 1983. the original line-up recorded just one demo at Sam Studios in Bristol and included tracks such as Rape, Overrow the System and the first performance of Thermonuclear devastation.

Personal problems led to the band hiring a new vocalist and bassist, with Rog Davis and Paul "Dickie" Davis taking similar roles.  They then opened supporting roles for shows such as the Exploited, the Varukers and One way System in Bristol.  The band also gave concerts throughout the UK.   Another line-up recorded a cassette release, What Lies Ahead, which included songs such as Black Horse of famine and Stone Divider.

Power From Hell

The band's new material began to take on a more metallic tone, and the first wave of thrash releases influenced the band's vocal style. The lineup changed in 1984 when Paul "Mo" Mahoney joined the band as lead vocalist and Jace Stallard replaced Dick on bass.  Under contract with underground label Children of the Revolution, the band released their first album Power From Hell in 1985.

The album was well received by the nascent thrash underground.  His dirty buzzsaw guitars and Mo's proto-death metal vocals met the demands perfectly, and the band began to attract the attention of a wider audience. Power from Hell material gave a more metallic touch to the band's early sound; the album contained several songs that were to grow and become thrash Anthems, including the self-released onslaught (Power from Hell), Angels of Death and Death Metal (itself is the subject of some speculation-was this melody the first use of this term anywhere?  The jury is still out...).