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Tired. Formulaic. Predictable. Forgettable. Usually, I would bait and switch here and extol the virtues of a great album. Sadly, I can't on this occasion. Violator greets us from the land that brought us the mighty Sepultura all those years ago. These guys sound more like Ratos De Parao unfortunately. Great if you like your thrash to be bang-bang-bang drums, any-note-will-do fret-wanking solos, screechy-scratchy vocals, thwacking bass, and buzzing rhythm geetars. Not me. Kreator did it well early on in their career, but had the good sense to develop into a more intriguing prospect before it was too late. I honestly thought, as the third song repeated a similar fast verse, fast chorus, fast verse, fast chorus, slow breakdown structure that I was going to switch it off. Track four, 'Addicted to Mosh' nearly redeems matters, but it's all too little too late. Surrounded by mediocrity on both sides (with the nearly-possible exception of 'The Plague Returns' later on track 9), it shines as a beacon. Sadly, it's not a great song on its own; just the others are on another level of dourness. I'm starting to sound like I'm digging too deep to highlight only the negatives; so many are there it's hard not to. So, without further ado, I present the positives. Drummer David Araya can certainly keep a driving pace going. There are even moments of brilliance, where it seems that he woke up out of his thrash-coma, and decided to actually work his kit. And that's it. I honestly cannot recommend this album to you. I understand that modern thrash has its goofy side (see the brilliant Gama Bomb or Bonded by Blood for evidence) to match the serious artistes (Machine Head and Testament for example), but Violator don't really fall into either camp. Still, I'm sure that a few thousand old-schoolers will assure me I'm wrong and buy this album in droves. They're welcome to it.
Review by Steve Cowan
21st July 2008
1) Atomic Nightmare
2) UxFxTx
3) Destined To Die
4) Addicted To Mosh
5) Brainwash Possession
6) Ordered To Thrash
7) Toxic Death
8) Lethal Injection
9) The Plague Returns
10) After Nuclear Devastation
"Violator greets us from the land that brought us the mighty Sepultura all those years ago. These guys sound more like Ratos De Parao unfortunately."