Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Try crushing your skull to this bad boy. - 87%

hells_unicorn, March 18th, 2012

Violator embodies everything inherent in thrash metal. It's not merely enough to buck the trend, it has to be violated. And all of those precious rules and societal norms that everybody clings to? They get violated as well, just for the damned hell of it. After having gotten all of the toxic bile out of their system on "Chemical Assault" they decided to do a sort of EP/LP hybrid of sorts and rediscover that magic that Metallica lost more than 20 years ago, but add to it a much needed dose of sheer, unadulterated adrenaline. And when I say adrenaline, I mean a literal needle right to heart resulting in a massive surge of energy that would rouse someone who is otherwise 100% D.O.A.

The riff assault on this dose is mostly along the lines of a turbo-charged "...And Justice For All" with a good amount of punk sensibilities to boot. The vocal assault is the only thing the defies the Metallica paradigm and comes off as more of a high-pitched shout than a typical Hetfield growl, but the bulk of the guitar work and that signature top-heavy approach is right out of the "Justice" playbook. Granted, this is a band that doesn't outright disrespect the bass as an instrument and there is something of a bottom end to this thing, but when focusing solely on the rapid paced chug riffing and super-smooth lead guitar tone, the duo of Hetfield and Hammett is the only logical conclusion.

Of course, the riff work and general guitar sound is pretty much the chief thing putting this in the Metallica paradigm as the crazed drum work is well beyond anything that Lars Urlich could ever hope to pull off. "Give Me Destruction Or Give Me Death" basically rides one massive blast beat and all but leaves the thrash metal genre in the process, conjuring up images of the beer and vomit insanity that typified Wehrmacht's mid 80s masterpiece "Shark Attack". The rest of the album mostly rests comfortably in the upper echelons of high octane thrashing, conjuring up images of the insanity that typifies Slayer and Kreator, occasionally tempered with a gallop happy approach more in line with Jon Schaeffer. Perhaps the closest thing resembling an intelligible song is "Futurephobia" which attempts to at least start things off reasonably mid-tempo before launching into that familiar bombardment of unfettered mayhem.

This is basically the same story as "Chemical Assault", but in a somewhat shorter package that can't quite make its mind up on whether it wants to be an EP or an LP. By death/thrash standards it could be either/or, but by traditional thrash standards it comes up just a tad bit short. Nevertheless, yet another must have for anyone looking to send his own head flying into a sea of moshing lunatics at the behest of the almighty riff. Be sure to check out the brutal yet faithful "Executer" cover to get a taste of where these crazed Brazilians got their sound from while you're at it.