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Vio-lence: Let the World Burn

When having a discussion about the most important and influential Thrash Metal bands to come out of the 80’s “Bay Area” scene, you will ultimately end up talking about Oakland Thrashers Vio-Lence. Their seminal run of three fantastic albums, between 1985 when they formed, until they split in 1993, are still considered some of the finest of the genre. With their heady blend of vicious and somewhat, but not overly, technical riffing, extreme lyrics and aggressive delivery from singer Sean Killian, Vio-lence was a force to be reckoned with on their albums. They were also famous for having some of the wildest and most violent live shows from among their contemporaries. With many stories of bloodshed and brutality that only served to heighten their reputation as being one of the most brutal and extreme bands in the Thrash scene at the time.

In 2019 after a decades-long hiatus the band finally reconvened and rejoined the Live circuit with a string of successful shows. This of course led the band to the obvious conclusion that more material was wanted and they had the burning creative desire to make it happen. Besides original line-up members Sean Killian, guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Perry Strickland, the guys have recruited former Overkill guitarist Bobby Gustafson and former Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. With this powerhouse of experience and professionalism assembled, the guys went straight to Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records and told him they wanted to record a new EP for the label, and that brings us to Let The World Burn.

So how does it stack up with their classics like Eternal Nightmare and Oppressing The Masses? Does the band have any ring rust? Has age softened their ferocity? Has their time away from Thrash diminished their skills? The answer to those questions is a definitive hell no. Let The World Burn is an unrelenting Thrash powerhouse. Loaded with their trademark killer semi-technical riffing, an awesome pummeling drum attack, growling bottom end on the bass and Sean’s terrific trademark viciousness both in delivery and lyrically. The EP opens with “Flesh From Bone” and from the first percolating bass lines and stomping intro guitars, launching into the Thrash attack, it’s perfectly clear that Vio-lence have lost nothing with the passage of time. In fact Sean might even sound even more of a savage. Next “Screaming Always” has definite Eternal Nightmare vibes. “Upon The Cross” is a bit more technically evolved and besides the in your face vocals, has some fantastic guitar work. Both guys handle the solos across the album and we are treated to some nice dual guitar melodies as well as the brutal riffing. The shorter “Gato Negro” is also no slouch and packs plenty of power and excitement into a smaller package. And finally the EP wraps up with the awesome title track which also refuses to take the boot off your neck. The riffs are fast and furious and Sean is spitting savage disdain and it’s all glorious. In the middle of the song there is a spoken word breakdown and when the band kicks back in you just know people are gonna get messed up in the mosh pit when that goes off live. I also have to mention that besides the quality of the material the production is also excellent. Everything sounds full and clear but also has plenty of balls.

For fans of classic Thrash Let The World Burn will be a very welcome return and I would imagine many will be happy to have this legendary band back in action. My only gripe with this EP is the fact that it’s only an EP. It’s damn good and I just wish it was a full album of this stuff. Vio-lence are back and badder than ever.

Sean Killian - Vocals
Phil Demmel - Guitar
Bobby Gustafson - Guitar
Christian Olde Wolbers - Bass
Perry Strickland - Drums

1. Flesh From Bone
2. Screaming Always
3. Upon The Cross
4. Gato Negro
5. Let The World Burn

Added: August 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 224
Language: english

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