San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIOLENCE has returned with “Meat from bones”, their first song in 29 years. The song comes from their upcoming EP, “Let the world burn”, their first original release since the 1993s “Nothing to win”. The collection of five songs will be available worldwide on March 4th via Metal Blade Records.
“This is the first VIOLENCE song I had been writing for almost 30 years, “admits founding guitarist Phil Demmel. “I would like to keep some of them early ‘Eternal nightmare’ [debut album, 1988] qualities intact, but adds much of what I have accumulated in my songwriting arsenal over the decades. ‘Flesh From Bone’ have the frenetic picking / finger riffs and solo balancing that is pretty old-school and I also have my influence on the sleeve with a few pieces EXODUS– and KILLER-inspired riffs. “
Frontman Sean Killian adds: “‘Flesh From Bone’ reflects on the true suffering of man during the dark age of history. Laws and regulations for people like Vlad Spidderen should not be broken. If you did, your sentence would be impalition or worse. To die in battle was to suffer. “
Killian continues: “For 34 years called a creation ‘Eternal nightmare’ has made memories for people all over the world. Now is the time to create some new memories in 2022. I am very proud of the new music we have created and we are fortunate to have worked with some very creative people. Nothing is too polished here unless fragments of glass and broken razor blades are what you consider polished. I love creating and we hope your heads explode when you hear the new VIOLENCE. “
To fill the band’s ranks further “Let the world burn” along side Demmel and Killian is original drummer Perry Strickland, former OVERKILL guitarist Bobby Gustafson and earlier FEAR FACTORY bassist Christian Olde Wolbers.
“Let the world burn” was recorded with Juan Urteaga on Trident Studios (TESTAMENT, MACHINE HEAD, EXODUS), with mixture is handled by Tue Madsen (IT HIGHED, MESHUGGAH) and Grammy Award-winning engineer Ted Jensen (ALICE IN LINKS, DEFTONER, PANTERA).
“Let the world burn” track list
01. Meat from Ben
02. Always screaming
03. On their cross
04. Black cat
05. Let the world burn
In a recent interview with Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Rocks Faces, Demmel stated about “Let the world burn”: “We had decided to write [some new material]. I would not make a full length record. Ten tunes are just … I have a baby at home. I have a five year old who is just the highest energy and exhausting. So my time is very valuable and I just do not have time to write a full-length record. I just felt like let’s take small steps with the band and see if we can write a few tunes – maybe make three or four. It ended up being an EP of five songs. “
In terms of the songwriting process for “Let the world burn”, Demmel said: “Man, in the 16 years I was in [MACHINE HEAD], it had thrash moments, but towards the end there were none. And I had written thrash songs. I always have riffs, but it was exciting to … Fuck, [I’m writing an] all-out thrash sang. I wanted to capture a few moments ‘Eternal nightmare’ [VIO-LENCE‘s 1988 debut album], and there are some signatures VIOLENCE sounds that I would like to immortalize and continue. But also, since I have also been playing thrash a bit, my right hand has become much stronger. I play the best I’ve ever played. And then I push the riffs. These are not songs that you pick up in the Guitar Center and only play in the Guitar Center; they are quite difficult to play. I wanted to push all in that sense. “
He continued: “I needed [Perry] to be able to accept this material in a language that I could speak to him. And I had to teach him to understand my language. And it was hard. And it was grueling. It was me and him in a room … For the most part, this record was musically written … I wrote the music, but with Perry for … 99 percent of it was just me and him in a room hammering it out. So I’m super proud of him for what he played on the record. It’s some of his best play. It’s definitely my best game ever recorded. Towards the end of my time in [MACHINE HEAD], I did not track rhythms, so it was a long time ago, I really tracked a metal record. I made one BPMD record and track them, but damn, this is a thrash record, so tracking the rhythms was something refreshing and super cool for me. We did it too Juan Urteaga in his place and he is great to work with. I had a great time. It was just a great experience to record with Perry. And I kind of leave that Sean do his own thing because he had his vocals down. Sean just ruining it on these songs, man; his voice is so unique. And no one sounds like him. That’s creepy, man. For he had a really high record, which he sang in back in ’88, and there are really moments of that now. But it’s dark, man – he sings dark. And I love it. I love his lyrics. He’s the favorite lyricist I’ve ever worked with. He’s smart and he’s witty and he’s colorful with what he does. I really enjoy his lyrics. “
In August 2020, VIOLENCE released a new digital single, “California Above All”, a cover version of DEAD KENNEDYS classic. The band also filmed a music video for the song with director Scott Kirkeeng.
VIOLENCE released three studio albums between 1988 and 1993. The group reunited shortly after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD at the end of 2018.
The band performed their first comeback concert in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California and spent most of the ensuing months playing select shows in the United States and Europe.
Though MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIOLENCE‘s classic incarnation and played on the band’s debut album, “Eternal nightmare”, he was not contacted about participating in any of the comeback shows.
Killian underwent a successful liver transplant in March 2018. The year before, Killian was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis, which was partly caused by a genetic condition called hemochromatosis.
VIOLENCElast album, “Nothing to win”, was recorded in August 1990, but was not released until 1993.
Image credit: James Willard