Are you reading this right now? Good, because if you are looking for some great thrash metal music you should read this all the way to the end. Well this review is about an album called ¨Oppressing The Masses¨ and it was made by a band (which is currently now inactive but on the move) and that band is called Vio-Lence. This album is a some kind of follow-up to their great debut album ¨Eternal Nightmare¨. this album does not contain the same material but it is very close though.
I have never described the band members in detail before so this would be a good opportunity to do that don't you think? Okey, I will start with the vocalist Sean Killian, an average thrash metal singer with an own unique singing voice. It is unique when you mention it in terms of metal but others would just say that he can't sing, though I would disagree. Anyway, the vocals are improved if you compare them to the first album, the vocals then sounded a bit sloppy and in some songs it sounded like Killian was eating something while he was singing. I think he is a good metal singer but he has no bigger talent though.
And now we take Rob and Phil and they are responsible for the guitars, they are very good musicians in my opinion. They riffs are heavy, somewhat precise, they are catchy and solid but when it comes to complexive and technical riffing they are not so good. They soloing is great but they are quite similar to Exodus type of soloing, they are chaotic, very intensive, rarely melodic and catchy but I enjoy most of their soloing. They are both very good guitarists but I would not say that they are guitar masters or something like that but it is up to the listener to judge how good they are, and to they are great.
Dean Dell, bassist, when I listen to a band I never heard before or an different album I always listen to the sound of the bass (because I am a bass player myself). If the bass frequence is high like the bases in bands like Overkill or Anthrax then they are mighty fine bands to me but Dean's bass is not that loud or clear. The band has given Dean some more space in this album because you can hear more bass intros and bass filler sections in some of the songs but Dean's bass is quite over shadowed by the guitars. But Dean is a good bassist, he keeps up with the rest of the guys as plays just as fast as them so he is doing very good in this album too.
And then the last member, Perry Strickland behind the drums,the instrument which is the engine of all bands. Well Perry knows how to handle the drums, he plays a lot of different styles both fast and slow. As in many thrash metal bands the drums are almost always fast, energetic and sometimes crazy. I admire metal drummers but I've got used to these kind of bands now so I can't hear any bigger difference, in other words, Perry is a good drummer, not a great one but he is very good.
Time for some song information, the songs in this album are not so simple structured as in the first album where the songs were fast at the beginning and then becamed slower and catchier in the end or when the half song has passed. ¨Oppressing The Masses¨ is the title track but it does not grab my attention that much, the song is basically very thrashy, got some really wicked solos, intensive shredds and some of the best drumwork in my opinion. And then we have ¨Liquid Courage¨ and ¨Mentally Afflicted¨ which refers to the eyes of an alcoholic. The first-mentioned song is a fast grinding song with a crunchy intro and chorus, not a highlight song though. ¨Mentally Afflicted¨ starts off with drumbeats and a funky bassline but the song becomes very heavy and I would say that this is the heaviest song on this album, it is catchy and is a good head banging song.
Some of the fastest songs with a quite simple structure would be my own favorite ¨Engulfed By Flames¨, this song really rocks, it is quite intensive during the intro but later the song gets more catchy and the chorus sounds great when the backup singing says: ¨ENGULFED! (Killian) ¨Your swallowed by the flames¨. Then we have ¨Subterfuge¨, if you like triplet riffing/shredding you should check this one out, though I don't really enjoy it. A highlight song would be ¨Officer Nice¨, it reminds a little about ¨Englufed By Flames¨ but this track has these great chorus when the backup singing is grreat. The intro is fast but then the song gets a bit slower and the rhythm sections are very good. The two tracks¨World In A World¨ and ¨I Profit¨ are the tracks that I enjoy the least, ¨World In A World¨ is claimed to be one of the albums strongest track but it sounds just as the other songs with fast pace and strong backup singing. ¨I Profit¨ is the song I almost never listen to and the reason is quite simple, similar patterns and structure.
Soon finished and I hope you didn't got bored, I will try to finish this one quick. I would say that this is a very good thrash album but it is not perfect, the song are great but there are also songs that fails to grab my interests. If you liked their first album you would enjoy this quite much, I know I did. If you haven't heard Vio-Lence before this would be a good example how they sound(ed). Any correctiion or commenting is welcome.
+ Good variation in the songs
+ Improved vocals
+ The bass as been given a little more room
+ Thrashers would find this album quite enjoying
- Some songs is like one-night-stands, you listen to them once or maybe twice
-- Engulfed By Flames
-- Officer Nice
-- Mentally Afflicted
And the final judgement will be a solid: 4/5