Amidst all of the clones and copies of the newer thrash bands, one group that stands tall above the crowd is the Italian band Ultra-Violence. Their first full-length, “Privilege to Overcome”, was a solid effort that showed a band willing to experiment with the typical thrash formula. On the follow-up album, “Deflect The Flow”, the band reins this in a little bit, in favour of a more straight forward thrash sound, though they definitely offer some heavier death metal-esque moments at times.
“Burning Through The Scars” storms out of the gate with some pure Exodus worship; if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear this riff was channeled through Gary Holt’s fingers. This song later goes on to offer speedy tremolo picking, blast beats, and even lots of melody, but it never loses its thrashing way. At its core, the rest of the album is very similar. Rather than switching sounds for a single song (something the first album occasionally did with tracks like “The Voodoo Cross” or “You’re Dead”), this album tends to provide variety within each song. This doesn’t mean every song is identical though; “Why So Serious?” is an ode to some of the more fun thrash bands of the 1980s, with more playful lyrics, loud twangy bass, and a few vocal breaks. Later in the track, Ultra-Violence takes a page from the books of Vio-lence and presents an incredible thrash groove. This song best accentuates how perfect the production is; every instrument is punchy (particularly on the low-end), and the guitars are absurdly heavy. The album might be a bit too clean for some, but this clarity highlights just how tight the playing is. Every musician is a master of his craft on this record (aside from perhaps the vocals, but thrash was never about having the best singer).
There’s so much to like about “Deflect The Flow” because it just does thrash well. For a genre that many claim is too rigid with its formula, Ultra-Violence is showing everyone else how to keep things interesting. They haven’t forgotten to write great songs, and that really comes through on tracks like “Lost In Decay” and the aforementioned “Why So Serious?” If you’re serious about how hard you thrash, “Deflect The Flow” is an essential purchase!
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"Burning Through The Scars"
"Why So Serious?"
"Lost In Decay"
4.3/5 or 86%.
Written by Scott