The summer of ’88 laid an impression on some of us that lasted a lifetime. The hordes were hip to all the bay area thrash bands and those groups kept delivering the goods. A couple of NWOBHM-styled vocalists flipped the Bay sound showcasing that nobody could really top Chuck Billy at his own game, but, instead, expand upon ’80s metal and ’70s punk rock vocal concoctions. Enter the fire and cockney sneer from Sean Killian, who paved way for all metal head serial killers dressed in turtle neck sweaters. You might think there isn’t room for fashion in metal, but Google the increase of black turtle neck sweaters sold since Let the World Burn was released.

Ok, let’s cut the fat and get to the bone. Vio-Lence covered a track last year by The Dead Kennedys in form of “California Uber Alles” that kinda left us scratching our heads questioning the direction of the band. Most of us have been walking on gilded splinters since the release of 1990’s Oppressing The Masses, unsure what to expect, and the DK cover was lacklustre at best. But, suddenly, the Bay clouds filled with flame and breathed fire upon the most venomous thing to come out of SF Gates in years! Take the foundation of OG VIO- vocalist Sean Killian, drummer Perry Strickland, and guitarist Phil Demmel, plus add master riffer Bobby Gustafson from Overkill on guitar, and bass-in-yer-face Christian Olde Woblers delivering 42oz of Fear Factory. This lineup delivers the goods dishing out the most precise slicing and dicing of “kill your grandma” music you’ve heard in years.

This morsel of goodness starts with “Flesh From Bone,” dropping in with a piping hot Frank Bello-like bass run that fires off the best twin guitar attack since ’80s Priest. A bit of Exodus’ Pleasures of the Flesh-era vibe crawling into the main riff in “Screaming Always” which will leave you screaming for vengeance in its uncompromising Metallica-Black-Album breakdown. This works fabulous for VIO- but didn’t quite hook us when Hetfield and co. put the original stamp on it. “Upon Their Cross” is as heavy as a really heavy thing and has this trippy solid mainstream Metallica “Black Album vs Oppressing The Masses” that dictates the flavour trip within the walls of your mind. “Gato Negro” hits home with a hardcore grand slam that demands a pit. It has a rabid punk rock skank and is as fast as a shark. This album has a very nostalgic Eternal Nightmare groove with a new twist of the blade.

Kilian’s voice, these days, is full of rage and vengeance; a scathing descaling delivery like he’s commanding a fleet of blood, guts, and brain worms. Worms in your brain, destroying every bodily function but not like the Gummie ones approved by Prop 207… anyway. This is the heaviest heavy thing you’ve heard in a while proving that VIO-  is once again kicking THE BAY area doors open as contenders, but this time with the perfect lineup. With your last ride ticket, “Let The World Burn” closes the show and, clocking in at  2:20, is possibly the fastest Vio-lence song of all time. There’s an apocalyptical spoken word that sets you up for a cliff dive. “You’ve never been welcome, sluts for lust… virus you destroy your saviors unrecognized and crucified.” Take a deep breath, now, let’s count to three. The GDOG crew comes crushing back and “Let The World Burn” might possibly be THE best song in thrash history!

Vio-Lence

Let the World Burn Track Listing:

1. Flesh From Bone
2. Screaming Always
3. Upon Their Cross
4. Gato Negro
5. Let The World Burn

Run Time: 24:09
Release Date: March 4, 2022
Record Label: Metal Blade Records

Author

I was born in the late 60's amongst hippies and bikers. Cut my teeth on 70's rock and roll surrounded by motorheads and potheads, and in the 80's spread my wings and flourished as a guitarist. In the 90's I became a semi-professional musician knocking on death metals door, as well as entering the world as a freelance writer. In the 2000's I moved to Hollywood and watched the music industry crumble in front of my dreams and then took a break. Now, in the early 2020s I'm ready to rock again… or swing, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, classical, etc. Its not so much a job to me anymore, but a great way to express myself and have a good time, and, "I know, its only rock and roll but I like it".