In the history of modern metal there are but a few places that have produced such a large standard of high-quality music. San Francisco’s Bay Area is one of them. From the early 80s onwards such Titans of the young and burgeoning thrash scene were streaming from garages, underground clubs, and any darkened corner that you dared to look into. This new fast-paced musical art form drew from the ferocity of bands like Venom and the DIY attitude of punk to produce a metallic seesaw of angular, angry, breakneck rhythms that in making you want to move and in another make you check your health insurance.
Many bands have come and gone but not many have burned as bright as the band formally known as Death Penalty now known since 1985 as Vio-Lence. In a long on and off again career they have produced 3-studio albums and 2 EP’s one of them being let The World Burn. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a large catalog for a band with such undeniable talent. But this is not such a black mark as some of them all only produced but a few records. There are very few Robert Johnston recordings. But what there is we cherish and enjoy forever. This can be said for Vio-Lence. With every recording, they have got better and better and still hold that darkened corner of the garage with its peeling posters and faded record jackets, deep in their very musical soul.
The new EP is a 5-track monster of seismic proportions in just a few moments your dragged kicking screaming into the maelstrom of Flesh From Bone. It takes me back to the first time I heard Slayer the moment I was blown away by the shear rhythmic magnitude and its face peeling LOOK AT ME attitude. It does not stop there dear reader; you have but a moment to take in their hectic musical madness. When you’re thrown headlong into Screaming Always. The lyrics are spat at you with a demented ferocity that fairly takes your breath away.
Each of the musicians who have put all into this monolith of an EP has excelled.
If it’s not the pummeling caveman wrath of the drums and Bass, it’s the blurry speed of the down stroked, palm-muted guitar and the clear dive-bombing, Floyd Rose, crushing guitar solos. The angry never grown-up teenage attitude of a lead singer whose understanding of the staccato push and pull of thrash vocals is worth the plaudits alone
This Band may take time between musical outings but the time in-between has honed and guided their erstwhile talent to this for me their best work since their debut Eternal Nightmare. So give your neighbors fair warning put your chiropractor on danger money, crank your stereo up to 11.
Because this should have a label on it that says CAN ONLY BE PLAYED EXTRA LOUD.
Release Year: 2022
Label: Metal Blade Records
Reviewed by Tony Evans