Chemical Assault review by Violator

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  • Released: Oct 1, 2006
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 9.5 (24 votes)
Violator: Chemical Assault
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Sound — 5
Skinny jeans. White hi-tops. Denim jackets. If you aren't humming 'Pleasure To Kill' yet, Violator may not be the band for you. As I'm sure we are all aware, on asking for a fresh injection of thrash, hordes of imitators will come running, looking for your attention. Each and every new thrash band that emerges these days will be compared to legions of identical groups who are, truth be told, most likely playing the same riffs. Only a fool would claim that every band has something worthwhile to offer, and unfortunately bands like Violator will receive praise for refreshing the memory rather than stimulating musical minds. Overrun by minor 2nds and diminished 5ths from the get-go, 'Chemical Assault' is an intensely old school thrash album. Thrash disciples will probably lap it up, but for those of us who are more selective with our listening habits there are not any particularly standout qualities that are required to make a decent thrash album these days. There are some intense performances from the Brazilians (especially from drummer David Araya) and they clearly have some dedication to their music, which is always nice to see but a record can very rarely be carried on passion alone. One thing they manage to do right is in their arrangement, bucking the 'one riff, one song' trend by stuffing every track with at least four or five riffs. Ultimately though, primitive production and nostalgia for dusty old records does not qualify Violator to compete with their elders on a musical level.

Lyrics — 7
Being addicted to mosh, ordered to thrash and destined to die can be quite a burden on a young man. The lyrics penned by Violator are truly reflective of the deep emotional turmoil that the members have experienced. No, but really the topics covered on 'Chemical Assault' are identical to those to be found on a Nuclear Assault album, though the way the lyrics are written does add a certain depth beyond the standard chorus refrain and clich 'political statements' of thrash metal. Some effort has been taken to write coherent songs lyrically and this provides Violator with an extra dimension to add to their otherwise very linear approach. A strength that Violator are occasionally noted for is the conviction behind vocalist Pedro Arcanjo's delivery is consistently anguished and brutal. Maybe so, but in fact I find the vocals put across a sort of immaturity in the music which is partly down to the punk-tinged attitude but also due to the nature of his frankly underwhelming voice.

Overall Impression — 5
No matter what thrash stalwart you compare Violator to - Exodus, Vio-Lence or, perhaps most fittingly, countrymen Sepultura - you will always find yourself leaning towards those more established bands because innovation will always beat nostalgia. As great as it is to have so much selection in thrash and have a few really great modern records to put on ('Enter The Grave' and 'Feed The Beast' spring to mind), it does have its downsides. As much as they may want it, as hard as they may try, Violator do not establish themselves as their own band, instead simply tempting the listener to break out a record from 1986 and remember how thrash is really done.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dvnc
    nicely done, i like that you sy what you really feel instead of just giving us all the positives and none of the negatives. *cough* Till death do us part *cough*
    duncang
    Oh, and apologies for the horrendous grammatical oversight when editing.
    BlackSymphony6
    this review pretty much somes up the way i feel about the entire thrash revival movement. I would just rather listen to the masters ...
    becker009
    BlackSymphony6 wrote: this review pretty much somes up the way i feel about the entire thrash revival movement. I would just rather listen to the masters ...
    totally agree, but what about exceptions like Bonded By Blood? those kids can play...
    Sanitarium91
    BlackSymphony6 wrote: this review pretty much somes up the way i feel about the entire thrash revival movement. I would just rather listen to the masters ...
    Unfortunately, I feel quite the same way. Although there are a few good new thrash bands that I like. Evile for example.
    Boone666
    Sanitarium91 wrote: BlackSymphony6 wrote: this review pretty much somes up the way i feel about the entire thrash revival movement. I would just rather listen to the masters ... Unfortunately, I feel quite the same way. Although there are a few good new thrash bands that I like. Evile for example.
    Or maybe Toxic Holocaust. I find that they (He i guess haha) can pull it off just as good as the better 80's thrash bands. But it is true that there are wayyyy too many copy-thrash bands out there these days haha.
    SL!!!
    um... is the reviewer sure he means, diminished fifths and minor seconds, cus i'm not hearing them..but i've only heard like 2 songs from this band. you usually don't in thrash. those are clashing tones you hear more in mathy hardcore and the like.
    Sabbath25
    SL!!! wrote: um... is the reviewer sure he means, diminished fifths and minor seconds, cus i'm not hearing them..but i've only heard like 2 songs from this band. you usually don't in thrash. those are clashing tones you hear more in mathy hardcore and the like.
    umm i have this album... it sounds nothing like those bands like the fall of troy and stuff
    duncang
    SL!!! wrote: um... is the reviewer sure he means, diminished fifths and minor seconds, cus i'm not hearing them..but i've only heard like 2 songs from this band. you usually don't in thrash. those are clashing tones you hear more in mathy hardcore and the like.
    They are clashing tones when they are played as chords. Violator do not play them as chords.
    hendrixisgod457
    I dont really like how people are saying that alot of new thrash is copy-thrash. Thrash is thrash, there really isn't a way to not copy what the thrash gods did in the 80's. So let them alone, enjoy the music, and THRASH TILL DEATH!!!!
    Sanitarium91
    hendrixisgod457 wrote: I dont really like how people are saying that alot of new thrash is copy-thrash. Thrash is thrash, there really isn't a way to not copy what the thrash gods did in the 80's. So let them alone, enjoy the music, and THRASH TILL DEATH!!!!
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't like it either, but we also have to face the fact that pretty much all the riffs have been invented already. The rest are just variations of those. However, that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy the music and THRASH TILL DEATH!!
    cheetoque121
    The album kicks ass for me. And I think I love this album more than Enter The Grave and Feed The Beast.
    rodrattlehead
    for me this album is ****inf sick along with feed the beast, war without end, the art of partying, citizen brain and many others,I think that is being elitist, saying that they are a copy, again it's my opinion