San Francisco’s Vio-Lence were one of the late arrivals to the ’80s thrash metal party, and while they bore all the regular sonic traits of the genre, they never really had the chance to develop in the short time allotted to them.
Eternal Nightmare Formed by guitarist Robb Flynn after his departure from fellow Bay Area thrashers Forbidden, Vio-Lence also featured vocalist Sean Killian, guitarist Phil Demmel, bassist Dean Dell, and drummer Perry Strickland. Heavily influenced by thrash pioneers Exodus, the band often chose raw aggression over the more technical style of peers like Death Angel and Forbidden. Despite Killian’s vocal shortcomings (the singer seemed incapable of keeping up with the rest of the group’s frenetic pace), the band’s 1988 debut Eternal Nightmare had more than its share of bright moments. This couldn’t be said for their mostly lackluster 1990 follow-up, Oppressing the Masses, nor 1991’s Torture Tactics EP, however, and the band fell apart after the recording of 1993’s Nothing to Gain.
Robb Flynn would quickly resurrect his career with a new band — the well-received Machine Head, while Demmel and Dell would go on to form Torque.