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While I've always taken a lukewarm reception to Death Angel, their debut album is one I couldn't possibly look down on even if I wanted to. Most of the reviews already here have little if anything negative to say, and while I wouldn't dare break that trend, I wouldn't necessarily call this a perfect thrash album. While it does an great supply of healthy riffs and Mark Osegueda's immense vocal performance, I get the feeling some these songs could have been better. This isn't an enormous complaint, as I tend to enjoy the hell out of this album all the same.
Considering the late 1980's was a time for Metallica clones, its nice to hear a band who didn't have to completely rip-off the sound to get somewhere. This is all too well exhibited in excellent full speed chargers like "Mistress of Pain" or "Kill As One," both of which also give off Osegueda's incredible shrieks. Considering I've heard mentioned the band members were all fairly young, it only adds to their credit. Considering fans nowadays lose their minds because a band like Trivium is young, I'm guessing none of them have actually heard this album, processed the age factor, and then realized this pulverizes "The Crusade" into dust.
With riff cannons like "Thrashers" (with a different guy on vocals) "Final Death," "Mistress of Pain," and "Evil Priest," its hard not to consider this one of the better thrash efforts of the late 1980's. I still say it doesn't get nearly enough attention, largely because of what the band members did after this album. Seriously, going from "The Ultra-Violence" to something like "Frolic in the Park" or even the somewhat interesting "Act III" is next to unreasonable. I guess with "Killing Season" out there as of last year, it shows the band is trying to bring back some of their charm. Needless to say, nothing they've done since can out do this one, especially if you're in the mood for visceral thrash metal.
While it may be the only album worth really checking into by this band, "The Ultra-Violence" remains a complete part of any thrash fan's complete breakfast. It has anything you could really ask for, even a maniacal instrumental in the title track, every song here is absolute killer. Well, every song here is killer except for "I.P.F.S." which is really just an afterthought/throwaway track to make you wonder why the hell its there. In any event, every thrash fan is incomplete without this, and while its not necessarily perfect, its just about everything you really want out of a competent thrash release.