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Having grown up in the 80's on what was considered thrash back then & then leaving the confines of metal to explore other genres, I never heard of Demolition Hammer or their 1992 masterpiece "Epidemic of Violence". And let me tell ya, did I miss out!
I got the remastered album a few years ago off Amazon & was blown away by the absolute blunt force & brutality of it. This album has everything I ever wanted from most of the "name" thrash bands in the 80's.
1. Absolutely heavy, thick & punishing guitar riffs with killer tone, killer solos & killer arrangements. The bass is not high in the mix so there really is no point in trying to review it other than it obviously adds to the low end & keeps the pulse for James Reilly, Derek Sykes & Vinny Daze. And speaking of the drums...
2. Double-kick out the ass. Though not being a name drummer, Vinny Daze punishes you for daring to listen to this beast. No, his fills aren't airy prog-metal affairs but he beats his kit to death! He ain't afraid to use the kicks (hey Lars, take notes ya wimp) & he beats the snare so badly it wouldn't surprise me if he had to put on a new head after every take. No frills, brutal drumming - just the way mama wanted it.
3. Steve Reynolds' vocals - I mean, what can I say? They are unlike most anything that was released up to that time in thrash metal. The acid-like inflection sounds like he drank gasoline before doing his takes. This IS what thrash vocals SHOULD sound like, not the girly, screechy rasp that most "modern" thrash bands pull today.
The first four songs are absolutely brutal...just brutal. After "Envenomed", we have "Carnivorous Obsession" which is more mid-paced heavy but doesn't really speed up 'til the guitar solo. Then we have "Orgy of Destruction" which is pointless in my opinion, not even a minute of what? An outtake?
Then we start to get back to it with the title track, "Epidemic of Violence", "Omnivore" & "Aborticide". They open the album strong & close strong. Nothing to it. A thrash metal classic.
This ain't for the kiddies. You mallcore kids may want to avoid this & stick with whatever shit is currently brOOtal for your sensitive little ears. Leave stuff like this to us adults who can handle it.
100% hands down, one of the best thrash metal albums of all time. If you don't have it, GET IT!