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On stage: Onslaught

- Onslaught, Gama Bomb, Fallen Fate & The Exiled - Sep. 2011 - Swansea (GB) -

- Onslaught, Gama Bomb, Fallen Fate & The Exiled -
- Sept. 25th 2011 - Swansea (GB), The Garage -

The opening band for the night were an awesome local thrash band called The Exiled (who released a superb EP called Break The Chains not long after this concert). The band's performance was top-notch, and almost astounding. The musicians were young and enthusiastic and, above all, talented. Their stage presence was next to flawless with plenty of audience interaction to break up the set, and despite the fact that the audience was quite small at the time, they still seemed to put a lot of effort into it. This interaction was a nice change from many bands which just go through the motions of playing their songs, and they seemed to enjoy their time on stage. Overall, the band got the night off to a great start, and there are no complaints.

Next up were Fallen Fate. Overall their set was well-played, brutal growls of vocals adding to the atmosphere of the band, fingers gracefully skimming over guitars and sticks hitting drums with acute precision. The sound, due to either the band's equipment or the acoustics of the venue (or perhaps both), was tolerable but not brilliant. Their overall stage presence was far from perfect, but endeavor was clearly put in. Fallen Fate also released their first full-length album, The Virus Has Spread, in June 2011, which turned out to be equally as fantastic as this concert. Fallen Fate suffered the same problem as The Exiled in that the audience was despairingly small, and once more, in spite of this sad state, the band at least seemed to put their all into this.

Gama Bomb were hilarious. Vocalist Philly Byrne is well-suited to the role of frontman, what with being as charismatic as he is. The entire set was enjoyable: the music was played well; the audience reacted well; there was humor; the sound was much better than the previous couple of sets; the band just seemed to put so much into putting on a good show. To put it modestly, Gama Bomb are perhaps one of the best UK thrash metal bands around at the moment. Every second of the set was out of this world, and it would have taken a severe hearing problem indeed for somebody to have not enjoyed it.

Headline act Onslaught were a pleasure to see in the pretty shitty city, and it almost felt unreal that they would grace such a humble venue. What was important though was the band's performance. Vocalist Sy Keeler did a fantastic job of keeping the crowd's attention, and guitarists Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies played to an unearthly standard. Sadly, the sound quality did not continue from Gama Bomb's set; unfortunately the sound during Onslaught's set really wasn't up to scratch. Against this, the audience still reacted splendidly to the band's comportment on stage. All in all, Onslaught put on a fantastic performance and the audience were pleased, and with lots of encores and rowdy drunkards, the concert was truly unforgettable.

It was delightful to see such fantastically talented bands in an undesirable city such as Swansea, and even more delightful to see the effort they all put into their performances.

Stephanie Malin


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