If you do like Bay Area Thrash as a rule, then of course you should give Vio-lence a try and this album certainly is a strong effort by Vio-lence that is worth exploring.
Their first album Eternal Nightmare was a faster and more hammering example of the second wave Bay Area Thrash bands like Heathen and Forbidden, only without as many of the progressive tendencies of those bands, and their third album Nothing To Gain started to incorporate slower speeds and groove metal elements like a lot of Thrash Bands did when the musical climate shifted in the nineties.
Oppressing The Masses, Vio-lence’s second studio album sits in between the two, still squatting on speedy and aggressive territory like all good classic Thrash albums should, but is also more considered, varied and mature than their debut.
Tracks like the prison themed ‘World Within A World’ or the album opener ‘I Profit’ display what Vio-lence are all about; lots of chugging, lots of double-kicks, fast but not particularly melodic guitar solos, gang-chanting backing vocals and Sean Killian’s polarizing nasal lead singing.
How much you will enjoy the record depends entirely on what you wanted to get out of it in the first place. Some listeners hate certain stylistic elements such as gang-chanting, some only like melodic guitar solos and many people hate Sean’s voice, so be aware of each of these factors before hand.
If you wanted tracks that sound like Machine Head, or if you want tracks that fit in with a specific vision of how Thrash should sound, be it like blistering fast Reign In Blood clones or indeed echoey, poorly produced demo recordings with high nostalgia factor then you may wish to try before you buy, as you probably won’t be getting what you hoped for.
Musically however, the album is of a very high standard and there are no complaints to be made in terms of talent or quality. This is a brilliantly constructed Thrash album and if you are listening to it on its own merits you will likely find it to be a fine addition to your collection.