Review Summary: Probably one of the best Thrash Metal bands you’ve never heard of, Violator shoves speed, aggression, raw power, and solos down your throat until you’re a gorging mass of blubber and fat, and then kicks you, rupturing your stomach wall and sending you
Today’s music is mired with post-hardcore / metalcore bands wailing about lost love and “inner struggles” as if someone had posted a formula to getting a record deal and millions of dollars on the internet. However, forget all that for right now. Imagine there exists a rare sports coupe modified to transport its driver back to the eighties: A time where the United States and Russia were still in the grips of a Cold War; at any moment, a complete nuclear holocaust could overcome the world; glam rock/metal bands such as Motley Crue were all the rage; and young Metallica and Megadeth hated this fact and wanted to blow glam away with hard charging thrash metal.
Violator holds the keys to that sports coupe.
Clearly the forerunners in this “New Wave of Thrash Metal” trend, Violator’s “Chemical Assault” album brings the speed and aggression of thrash that had been forgotten by many during the nineties. What sets this band apart from, say, Gama Bomb or SSS, is in the album’s production. The first few seconds clue the listener in to the album’s raw sound. The whole thing sounds like it could have been released in 1985, which is one of the album’s strong points. Whether this was on purpose or not, I don’t know. Maybe the recording studios in Brazil aren’t as good as the ones in Sweden or America, but that doesn’t matter. The raw production value adds to the intensity of the band’s songs.
The guitars, drums, and vocals are all top-notch. From the beginning track “Atomic Nightmare”, you are assaulted with frenzied drum beats, and the attack never lets up. The guitars are heavy, offering incredible solos and riffs that, for the most part, are catchy and memorable. The lead singer’s piercing screams add to the intensity, and some lyrics are spoken in rapid fire, matching the songs’ speeds. However, at some parts, the lyrics can be a bit incomprehensible, and the pronunciation for “Lethal Injection” is a bit off (he pronounces it Ledal).
I also have a qualm with the bass. It’s nigh impossible to hear some of the bass lines in most of the songs, leading me to believe that the bass lazily follows the guitar tracks, but I guess the lead singer is too busy working on vocals to produce interesting bass tracks. Plus, it is not uncommon for bass to get lost in the sea of metal instruments, so this isn’t a really big deal.
The lyrics and themes of the whole album are a welcome change from the bland bull*** emo “inner struggles” garbage plaguing music today. Violator would like to remind us all that complete nuclear eradication is still a possibility, if we aren’t careful. If you’re at all interested about total atomic destruction, Violator’s lyrics will instantly catch your eye (or ear).
I also found the song “Ordered to Thrash” particularly interesting. An instrumental except for the shout “THRASH” towards the middle of the song, it is quite catchy at times. However, just thinking about someone ordering someone else to “Thrash” was comical. I imagined a Captain walking up to a Private and shouting at the man,
The Private gave an odd look at his captain and replied, “How do I thrash"”
“I don’t know, but you better do it!”
All in all, the songs on this album are definitely listenable, and the riffs and solos change up to keep the listener interested. Nowhere in this album did I think that I was listening to the same song over and over again, and I could easily tell them apart. The lyrics and vocals are unique in thrash, offering a different take on thrash vocals yet still being aggressive and heavy. The songs aren’t padded with stupid bull*** breakdowns and repeated choruses, and the whole thing is enjoyable for anyone who’s a fan of thrash, or metal.
Some people may find the production a bit lacking, if you’re used to listening to glossy, polished music of the 2000s, but I find the raw production works in favor of the band, giving it a classic sound. While other bands such as Gama Bomb and Toxic Holocaust give nods to the thrash metal bands of the eighties, I believe Violator is
eighties thrash, and I welcome their return.
Now, let’s just hope no T-1000s followed them to the future.
Addicted to Mosh
Ordered to Thrash
After Nuclear Devastation