Frank goes back in time to review Vio-Lence ‘Eternal Nightmare’ which has just been re-issued by Metal Blade
My original copy of “Eternal Nightmare” is almost unplayable, originally purchased in 1988,me being in my late teens at the time meant many music sessions going deep into the night. Constantly swapping the vinyl over on the turn table, sometimes without the care they deserved, hey I was going to be eighteen forever. There was always going to be a record shop to buy replacements right??
Fast forward thirty years, with thrash metal enjoying a prolonged stay in the ever-changing multi-genre world of heavy metal, alongside an influx of new bands came a resurgence of long disbanded sometimes forgotten names, reforming or rebooting. With an almost parallel interest in owning physical copies of music, the sales of vinyl cassette tapes and CDs are steadily increasing. With this in mind, many bands see this as a decent revenue stream and are re-releasing their classic albums, allowing new fans and old alike to own their own piece of thrash nostalgia. Although a bit late to the party, Viol-lence is a welcome addition to the fray,
The Oakland thrashers put their own stamp onto the Bay area thrash scene, releasing three widely acclaimed records before the changing music climate made them go their separate ways.
Their debut “Eternal nightmare” has been respectfully remastered by Patrick Engel, who has managed to make the record clean and crisp without losing the raw edge you want from and 80’s recording. Available now for pre order for its release on the 28th October and will be available on all formats, from digital download to coloured 180g 12” vinyl,
The debut album “Eternal nightmare” consists of seven tracks of pure “Bay Area” thrash metal including some classics of the genre including “Serial Killer” “Calling in the coroner” and “Kill on command”. “Robb Flynn” yes… that Robb Flynn, as if you didn’t know, gets things started on the opening track which is also the title track, with an unmistakable 1980s bay area rhythm guitar riffing, relentlessly pounding throughout, a theme he carries through the whole record without easing off until the final chords of “Kill on Command”. Accompanied by the raw lead work from “Phil Demmel”.. Yes, I’m sure you have heard of him as well, adding a duel rhythm attack at times and then powering away with decent but not career defining solo work. “Deen Dell” takes up bass guitar work which while it is good enough, it is not exceptional, The drumming throughout is essential to this record, “Perry Strickland” absolutely nails it on every track. Then we get to arguably the make or break reason most people either dont get “Vio-lence” or love them. The unmistakable voice of vocalist “Sean Killian”. His delivery throughout is akin to a madman ranting at a hundred miles per hour at the top of hes voice, you can visualize the veins in his neck almost bursting through the skin as he spits every word out with venom. He definitely wants to kill someone.. I’m sure of it.
The only song where he seems a bit more sedate, if that is possible, is probably my favorite track “ Phobophobia”
I’m very happy they haven’t tampered with the original Ed Repka artwork, it is an iconic album cover, which was also used in the original marketing, I can still visualize the advert in kerrang which originally piqued my interest.. The power of marketing 1980s style.
As if getting these seven classic tracks isn’t enough, a twelve track live set, recorded at “” Slims” in San Fransisco on December 14th, 2001, comes as a second disc with the CD release, but a digital download with vinyl. This could easily have been a stand alone live release, the production is better than some live albums i have listened to in the past. The mix is top class with the roar of the crowd only really noticeable between songs. The guitars are loud and upfront while the bass comes over as more mature and heavy than it ever did in a studio release.
This is an essential record for any thrash fan, old and new. So don’t get ripped off buying an original off evilbay for close to a hundred pounds, especially when you get a better product plus a bonus live album for less than thirty..
The Re-issue of Eternal Nightmare came out Yesterday on Metal Blade… get that Vinyl on your decks