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The sole full-length by one of the lesser known German thrash bands, Violent Force, is quite a hit and miss affair. There are moments of sheer head-banging joy, and then there are some moments where you’ll find yourself shaking your head as if you were following a game of ping-pong back and forth from side on.
The sound is quite typical of the German scene of the 80s, meaning it is very raw and not so geared towards melody as some of their American counterparts of the era were. One major discrepancy that can be noticed is the songs are inundated with leads and solos, something that isn’t so common to many Thrash bands. This does get obnoxious at times, as many of the leads a similar in sound, causing a sense of monotony and tedium.
Some of the riffs are really quite good, with traces of punk-like flair, combined with the rhythmic energy that epitomises the Thrash genre. Probably the best example of this is in the opener ‘Dead City’ where the distorted bass intro leaps into a lively riff with the obvious flair and simplicity of punk entangled in the sheer intensity of thrash. You must at this point begin to bang your head, or face being looked down upon by those who did. Sadly though, these riffs aren’t in enough abundance for this to be considered a classic and it is really disappointing that the band is so inconsistent with their song writing when they are clearly capable of much more.
The closest comparison of the band to another can be denoted to Kreator. The band is capable of stringing together the aggressive riff-structures that Kreator made famous. Yet, this similarity to Kreator is also their biggest downfall. The band doesn’t really tap into an exclusive sound that they can truly call their own. At times the band plays some really generic and bland riffs that seem fast for the purpose of being fast and are merely only one or two rough chords put together. These lifeless incarnations are often repetitiously used, and in some instances an entire song will only consist of no more than two or three of these bland riffs with the addition of the over-use of monotonous leads as aforementioned. It is on these occasions the band sounds like a third-rate Kreator clone mixed with a wannabe shred Metal band. A mixture that reminds me of the time I tried soda on my cereal…
The band is also at times let down by a poor production, subsequently taking the punch and clarity out of the guitar tone. This isn’t always a problem, but there certainly are times where more time could have been spent getting the production right.
The inconsistency of this CD is probably enough to keep potential fans away, but there are also a couple of gems on here, and the random scattering of great riffs amongst the debris. I can certainly think of worse ways to spend an afternoon, such as playing ‘kiss chasey’ with a dozen two hundred pound females with noses the size of baseballs. But, you could also be banging your head to the real thing, being Kreator of course.