Bay Area Thrash legends Vio-lence will enter Trident Studios in early 2021 to record a five-song EP. Juan Urteaga (Testament, Machine Head, Heathen, Skinlab) will produce the EP, which will release on Metal Blade Records around “mid-to-late summer” according to Phil Demmel in a video with most of the band and Juan, posted via Instagram. It will be the first recording of brand new material from the band since the Nothing To gain was recorded and released in 1993. The current lineup of the band includes founders drummer Perry Strickland and guitarist Demmel (BPMD), vocalist Sean Killian and new members Christian Olde-Wohlbers (Powerflo, ex Fear Factory) on bass, and guitarist Bobby Gustafson (Satan’s Taint, ex-Overkill).
Bay Area Thrash-Metal legends Vio-lence performed last night for the first time with their new lineup. (Saturday, April 13) at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California. Video footage of the concert, as well as the pre-gig soundcheck, can be seen below (courtesy of Capital Chaos TV and Walter Morgan. The current band lineup now consists of guitarist Phil Demmel, vocalist Sean Killian, bassist Deen Dell, drummer Perry Strickland, and guitarist Ray Vegas. Former member Robb Flynn of Machine Head was in attendance but didn’t perform. The band has booked has several more shows scheduled for the coming months, including a second Oakland date today (Sunday, April 14); a European appearance at the Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival in Kortrijk, Belgium; shows with Sacred Reich in Los Angeles and Phoenix; and concerts shows in Brooklyn, New York.Continue reading
Sean Killian who as the vocalist and frontman for seminal second wave of American thrash metal band Vio-Lence has revealed that he is suffering from end stage liver disease (cirrhosis of the liver) and is on the list for a partial liver transplant to save his life. Continue reading
To celebrate the upcoming release of dark, progressive thrash opus Dormant Heart (Nuclear Blast) Josh Middleton of Sylosis spoke of his love of Thrash, including his Top 5 (non-Big 4) Thrash albums…
In no particular order (except the first one, apparently):
SEPULTURA ‘Arise’ (Roadrunner)
After upping the ante in a serious way with the seminal Beneath The Remains Max Cavalera and crew cemented their place in the annals with one of the heaviest and one of the best slabs of thrash known to man, beast or beyond. Produced by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound, Brazil’s greatest musical export refined their delivery while maintaining the aggression, with an album chock full of anthems from ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’ and its neck-snapping groove, to the epic ‘Desperate Cry’ and the crunching pace of closer ‘Infected Voice’, while the opening title track boasts one of the greatest heavy riffs of the last forty years and is a bone-fide extreme anthem. A genuine Death/Thrash classic.
VIO-LENCE ‘Oppressing The Masses’ (Megaforce)
There’s a certain writing team currently topping the metal charts (and coming in third in Ghost Cult‘s Albums of the Year 2014), a writing team that includes Messrs Philip Demmell and Robert Flynn. Back in 1990, Machine Head‘s creative force were cutting not just their teeth, but an album of jagged thrash intent with no lack of cerebral content, from stomping tour-de-force ‘I, Profit’ to closing title-track, more of a traditional thrasher operating in the Overkill ball park, replete with Sean Killian‘s Blitz-deranged vocals.
FORBIDDEN ‘Twisted Into Form’ (Combat/Relativity)
Another band that operated as a stepping stone for some of its’ members, with drummer Paul Bostaph to move on to Slayer and Testament and highly-regarded guitar-wizard Tim Calvert to later join Nevermore for their defining album Dreaming Neon Black (Century Media). Twisted Into Form was the San Franciscan’s second opus, and with Calvert joining (at the expense of Glen Alvelias, who himself was later to also join Testament), saw a more melodic, technical and progressive approach to the debut.
HEATHEN ‘Victim of Deception’ (Roadrunner)
Another early 90’s great, “This is pretty much …And Justice For All Part 2!” states Middleton. Along with the Vio-lence and Forbidden selections, this is another sophomore album that saw a band at the top of its game really define their sound second time around. Widely regarded as one of the most technical thrash albums, Victim… is renowned for its many complex structures, time changes and guitar work, retaining little of the NWOBHM influence exhibited on their debut. Coming in at over an hour, with the majority of its tracks over six minutes in length, Heathen made a statement that thrash could be complicated and could be progressive.
TESTAMENT ‘First Strike Still Deadly’ (Spitfire)
“I haven’t had any Testament yet… and, you know what, I know it’s a cop out, but I really enjoy First Strike Still Deadly. I know it’s effectively a best of, but I like it.”
Featuring guest appearances from original vocalist/Exodus screamer Steve “Zetro” Sousa and Joey Tempesta, who had sat on the drum stool at various points in Testament’s career, as well as Alex Skolnick returning for the first time since 1992’s The Ritual, this compilation of re-recordings was Steve Di Giorgio‘s last with the band. Comprising of tracks from their classic first two albums, The Legacy and The New Order (Atlantic/Megaforce) and old demo track ‘Reign of Terror’, this was the start of the re-recording trend and has been widely panned by critics, which seems harsh as the tracks are, still, incredible. Besides, at least one person (Mr Middleton) likes it… Here at Ghost Cult we support First Strike… but would recommend getting hold of the first two Testament albums, if you don’t already own them. You can pick up pretty much every Testament release while you’re at it, too…
Words by STEVE TOVEY