Vio-lence Discography               

Vio-lence is an American thrash band that cut its teeth on the Bay-Area thrash scene of the mid-to-late '80s. They released one EP, a handful of demos, and three albums, including their debut Eternal Nightmare, considered one of the best thrash albums of all time by some critics. While the band did not achieve the same level of success as its Bay Area thrash brothers Metallica, Slayer or even Exodus; many of the bands that came after count Vio-lence among its major influences. The band was Vio-lence also spawned Machine Head, one of the bands that carried the Bay Area metal scene into the late '90s and beyond.

In 1985, future Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn joined Vio-lence to complete its classic lineup. Phil Demmel and Flynn handled guitars, Sean Killian fronted the band, and bassist Dean Dell and handled the back end with drummer Perry Strickland. Flynn left another up-and-coming Bay Area thrash band Forbidden to join Vio-lence, and the groups' rivalry became a pretty big deal in the San Francisco clubs. With Flynn on board, the band continued to play local local clubs and released several demos that got passed around the underground thrash scene.

Vio-lence - Yet Another Van Tour

Vio-lence landed a deal with MCA subbie Mechanic Records in 1986 and quickly put out another demo. The band's reputation as one of the Bay Area's best live acts had reached national and international press, so the anticipation for an album was growing. The band headed into the studio in February 1988 and recorded a seven track album that dropped later that year. The result was Eternal Nightmare, a riveting, driving masterpiece that was overlooked because MCA did not put any resources into promoting it. Its popularity has grown over time, however, and Eternal Nightmare is one of the top 50 or so titles every serious thrash collector has or covets.

Disappointed with Mechanic's efforts, Vio-lence jumped shipped and signed with Megaforce, getting to work on a sophomore effort right away. Oppressing the Masses hit stores in 1990, unfortunately with a cloud of controversy surrounding it. The album initially included a song entitled "Torture Tactics," and was approved by Megaforce. Atlantic Records was the distributor, though, and wanted the song pulled because of its gory lyrics. 20,000 or 25,000 copies had already been printed but were reportedly destroyed. There was a video released for the song "World in a World".

The band responded to the lyrical controversy a year later with an EP named for and including the song, distribution partner Caroline Records. In addition to "Torture Tactics," the EP had another lost track from the Oppressing the Masses sessions, one from the Eternal Nightmare sessions and a live track. While the EP was being constructed, the band was also laying down its third album, though it wouldn't be released for another three years.

A few months after Torture Tactics was released, Robb Flynn left the band over their objection to him taking on a side project. Flynn went on to form Machine Head to be replaced by Troy Fua, and the band toured toured for about another year before slowly dissolving with a rotating lineup. Phil Demmel, Deen Dell, Ray Vega and Mark Hernandez went on to form Torque, which was around for about a year and released a studio album and did a few shows before calling it a day. Demmel formed a band called Technocracy and eventually joined Machine Head, which Flynn had grown into one of the biggest-selling thrash acts of the 90s.

Vio-lence reunited (Vegas in for Flynn) in 2001 for a few shows, including the Thrash of the Titans benefit for Testament frontman Chuck Billy. Footage filmed during the shows was later used in a DVD entitled Blood and Dirt, though it didn't drop until 2006. Though the run of Vio-lence was all too short, it left a lasting mark on the pages of the book of thrash history. As someone whose favorite two albums have been Master of Puppets and Reign In Blood since late '86, I hold Eternal Nightmare just below those classics along with albums like Overkill's Taking Over and Testament's The Legacy.

Click Here for detailed information about the recording career of Bay Area thrash legends Vio-lence.

Click Here for a detailed biography on Vio-lence guitarist and Machine Head founder Robb Flynn.