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Fast but ultimately disapointing - 70%

Idrownfish, March 10th, 2011

“Violent Mosh” was everything that you expect a classic debut to be. It was not a masterpiece, but it brimmed with potential: the band was not as good in terms of technique as they are now, and Pedro “Poney” Ret was a weak vocalist at best, but the band knew how to get things done and how to make riffs that were better than what was being composed by most of the “new wave of thrash metal” bands. In addition, the recording featured a major song that would instantly become Violator’s best-known track: “The Plague Never Dies”.

Two years later Chemical Assault came and made Violator one of the most promising contemporary thrash metal bands. The album was a trash monster, a masterpiece that would make Phil Demmel headbang until he vomited. For the first time in years, the thrash metal community could headbang to a recording without a single bad song or overused passage, and since then the band’s amazing riffs and energetic live performances have been conquering them some loyal fans. By 2009, those fans were eager to see new material from the band, and when Violator announced that they were recording a new LP, the Brazilian metal community screamed in joy.

After waiting for almost a year and having this release deleted from MA three times (someone realized that they could add it to MA with nothing but the cover and the track list... Meh), I was finally able to download it (in case you are wondering, I do have a physical copy now). Unfortunately, the first thing I would like to say about "Annihilation Process" is that it is disappointing. This EP is far from being terrible, but the band was not able to repeat what they did in “Chemical Assault” and “Violent Mosh”, and what they came up with here is simply not as great as I expected from the band that delivered tracks such as "Addicted to Mosh" and "Atomic Nightmare". If Violent Mosh was the “classic” debut and Chemical Assault the “flawless” masterpiece, Anihilation Process is little more than a “we ran out of ideas” third album. The recording is uninspired as hell, Violator's creativity seems to have fallen into stagnation and instead of their fresh and powerful songwriting, we get to see many of the symptoms of musical bankruptcy.

To say that this is a step in a different direction, however, is stretching the truth to breaking point. After all, Violator is still sticking to what it knows best: pure riff-centrism fueled by some energetic vocals, predictable drum patterns and a root-note-spamming bass. However, the fast tempo is omnipresent in this recording, which is exciting at first but ends up making the LP somewhat boring once you listen to two or three songs in a row. In addition, the riffs are far from being as great as they are in Chemical Assault, even if they are a lot faster now. Violator even abandoned their most common theme: thrash. Instead of singing about the glory of thrash and that moshing is his reason to live, Poney sings about slightly more political themes, and unfortunately, the lyrics not only sound less sincere now but also suffered a heavy downgrade.

Perhaps what made “Chemical Assault” so great was the fact that the band already knew how to do everything and still could do everything. “Annihilation Process” is not a total loss. Creativity is rare but glimpses of it are present, and the album features some passages that provide some nice moshing, but the energy that was the core of Chemical Assault and Violent Mosh is mostly absent. Two tracks definitely stand out from the rest: “Futurephobia”, a display of technique that manages to be somewhat creative, and “Poisoned by Ignorance”, an incredibly fast song that has an exciting introduction, a very good first riff and a godlike refrain. We also get to see an Execute cover, which is always welcome.

This recording is far from being terrible, but it is on the limit between regular and good.