Written by Alex Stojanovic
Flesh From Bone
Upon Their Cross
Let The World Burn
Sean Killian - Vocals
Phil Demmel - Lead guitars
Perry Strickland - Drums
Bobby Gustafson - Rhythm guitars
Christian Olde Wolbers - Bass
Release Date: March 4, 2022
Label: Metal Blade Records / Facebook
Since the band's initial split in 1993, the band have went on to play in other bands, with Phil Demmel being in Machine Head being the most notable one. There was the short-lived reunion from 2001 to 2003 when the band reformed for the legendary Thrash Of The Titans benefit show for Chuck Billy and Chuck Schuldiner, and the most recent one-off reunion for the benefit show for Sean Killian and his medical experience with liver cirrhosis. Since then, Sean has made a full recovery, and is back to performing at a level where it seems like nothing ever happened. On top of that, his vocals on the new songs sound just as powerful as they did on Eternal Nightmare and Oppressing The Masses. They may not be as high, but they're still as menacing.
The EP opens with "Flesh From Bone" with a gritty bass riff that sets the table rather quickly before exploding into a full thrash attack. It must be a great sigh of relief for Phil to be back with his original band, and to also be unleashing up a storm with shredding riffs and searing solos once again after being somewhat held back on the last Machine Head album Catharsis (we won't get into that). The speed continues on "Screaming Always", which I think is the best track on the EP, and it proves that you can still incorporate a groove element into fast and aggressive riffing.
It is when we arrive at "Upon Their Cross" that the speed is dialed back, but the intensity certainly isn't. The half-time groove gives the song a more hardcore vibe than a thrash vibe, but it still contains the intensity to get bodies either moshing or stage-diving. The last two tracks: "Gato Negro" and "Let The World Burn" bring the speed back for a final round of brutality before things come to a close. The amazing thing about this EP is that it left me wanting more, which is what an EP or an album is supposed to do. In an interview I did with Sean, he mentioned that they will stick to the EP format going forward when it comes to releasing new music, and releasing a few new songs every now and then.
I wouldn't say that Let The World Burn is already a classic Vio-Lence EP, and it's not at the same levels of intensity as Eternal Nightmare, but it is certainly a great welcome back to one of the most beloved, yet underrated bands from the classic Bay Area thrash scene, and more than worthy of our attention. Vio-Lence have proven that even after 30 years of no new music, and a medical episode that almost cost a life, they are fully reborn and ready to set the world on fire again.
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