Jim Rowland of Über Röck recently conducted an interview with vocalist Sy Keeler of British thrashers ONSLAUGHT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Über Röck: The new album, "VI", has had a pretty amazing reaction so far. I'd imagine you're rather pleased. Keeler: Yeah, of course we're pleased. All the reviews are saying, "Best thrash album of the year." Well, I bloody well hope so. We've had comments like, "Listening to 'VI' was like hearing'Master Of Puppets' for the first time," or "The best thrash album since 'Reign In Blood'" was another one. That's a compliment, so you never get tired of hearing compliments like that. They've all been pretty amazing. Über Röck: It's a really powerful album — the production is superb. Tell us about who produced it. Keeler: Thomas "Plec" Johansson is the man behind the production. He wasn't our first choice; we were gonna go with Jacob Hansen again, who did "Sounds Of Violence", but he wasn't available. He basically blew us out, because he was offered a bigger band. I don't even think it was a metal band, actually. He was going to make more money out of it, so he said, "Sorry, I can't fit you in." So we were disappointed about that, but our record company came up with Thomas Johansson. We listened to some of his work and it was, like, "Yes, this guy is very, very good." So we just took the plunge and went for it, and we have a fantastic production on the album — it's huge! The space he has managed to create and everything is crystal clear. It's a brutal mix, yet there's so much space. Über Röck: Talking about how good the album's sound is, the drums sound awesome on it. You have a new drummer for this album. Tell us about him. Keeler: Oh, yes! Well, Steve Grice left on the eve of a European tour on the back of "Sounds Of Violence", so he left around March of 2011. Jeff, our bass player, said, "I know a drummer who would probably do it" — Mic Hourihan from the death metal band DESECRATION. So he asked Mic if he could help us out on the European tour. So he said, "Yes," and ultimately he had eight days to learn an hour-and-fifteen-minute set, and not necessarily straightforward songs either. So he worked, and worked, and worked, and on the first show it was, like, "Wow, this guy's got something special here — we've got a great guy on board here." Every night, as he got to know the songs, he was just expanding on what he was doing, and I would turn round to him with a big beaming smile on my face — "Awesome!" After four shows, we were sat in a café, and I'd already had a chat to Nige [Rockett, guitar] about it, saying we should offer this guy something, see if he would be interested in joining us. So we were sat in a café in Sweden after a show and I said, "Mic, would you be up for joining the band full time? We're really impressed with what you've done." He had a big lump in his throat, and we thought he was going to cry, or say no! He was blown away, so Mic joined on that European tour, and we haven't looked back. He's such an explosive drummer, it's amazing. When I heard the finished product of the new album, it was, "Oh my God!" I was gobsmacked. So we have an awesome drummer on board, I'm pleased to say. He's reliable, consistent, his timekeeping is second to none and every night I still find myself turning round and smiling at him, because he's done something else!