If there is one metal scene that not enough people are talking about, it would have to be the Italian thrash scene. From the more established Hyades, to newer bands like Bothers and Game Over, the Italians know how to play some mean thrash. The newest band to pop up on my radar is Ultra-Violence; yet another young thrash act named after a classic album. The bad news is that their debut, “Privilege to Overcome”, doesn’t sound anything like the Death Angel classic. The good news is that it doesn’t try to sound like it.
Before I can get to the stronger points of this record, I have to address the weaknesses. Firstly, this album is way too long. If you are writing a 57-minute thrash album, it had better be something progressive in the vein of “Victims of Deception”. While Ultra-Violence does sustain their youthful energy throughout the entire record, it’s just too much to handle in one sitting. How should they solve this issue? Cut the two weaker songs: “Spell of the Moon” and “The Voodoo Cross”. The former song features unnecessary harmonics and attempts at being brutal. If you are trying to attract fans, this isn’t the song to lead off with. “The Voodoo Cross” is a slower, more plodding song. At almost 9 minutes, it really isn’t all that necessary, especially for a thrash album. Getting rid of these two tracks would go a long way to improving “Privilege To Overcome”. The other 11 songs (less an instrumental) provide exactly what you would come to expect from the band: thrashy, albeit uninventive riffs, with shouted vocals and rhythmically impactful drumming. The band often takes influence from death metal, as they throw in blast beats and death grunts when appropriate. There are a few songs that standout, but my favourite is definitely “You’re Dead”. At only 55 seconds, this song provides the punkish, crossover energy that a lot of newer thrash lacks. These types of songs are even better when they appear infrequently on an album. It reminds me of a lot of Nuclear Assault’s “Game Over”, where my two favourite songs were “Hang The Pope” and “My America”. Another great song is “Order of the Black”. For the first three-plus minutes, it is similar to every other song; however, the most potent riff on the album kicks in with only about a minute left. The band abandons thrash for an all-out death metal assault. While it is only a short burst of intensity, the contrast between this part of the song and the rest of the record really makes this riff stand out in a positive way. There are so many songs on “Privilege to Overcome” that many of them are a blur, but aside from the two low points mentioned above, this album is evidence a band that definitely has a lot of talent.
To sum Ultra-Violence up, all you need is to hear the name and see the album artwork. If either doesn’t turn you off, then you probably absorb all things thrash (like me), no matter how unoriginal. This record absolutely could be improved, but it has many bright spots too. “Privilege to Overcome” is definitely recommended for all fans of newer thrash.
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"Order Of The Black"
"10'000 Ways To Spread My Hate"
3.8/5 or 76%.
Written by Scott