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Music / Vio-lence

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Vio-lence were an American Thrash Metal band that formed in 1985. Despite their short career, they managed to be considered a pioneer of thrash. Generally categorized by Killian's signature Motor Mouth and fast-paced riffs, they gained fame from the thrash underground.

When they finally got Rob Flynn, they got signed with Mechanic to record their debut album.

Finally in 1990, their second album, Oppressing The Masses was launched on Megaforce Records with better distribution and marketing than their debut, Eternal Nightmare. A video for the song "World in a World" was also filmed.In 1991 they released an EP, Torture Tactics, which included three studio songs (old songs from the demo era which were recorded during the Oppressing The Masses sessions) and one live track from the Oppressing The Masses tour.

Internal conflicts in 1992 resulted in the departure of Robb Flynn who would move on on to form groove metal band Machine Head. Vio-lence recorded their third and final studio album titled Nothing to Gain, which was released in 1993. It was followed by Perry Strickland's departure and the resulting dissolution of the band.

They reunited in 2001 to play a few shows before disbanding again in 2003. After sixteen years of inactivity, they reunited yet again in 2019, with plans to keep it live-only that quickly evolved into plans for new material that culminated in a deal with Metal Blade Records in 2020.

Current Lineup:

  • Phil Demmel – guitar (1985–1993, 2001–2003, 2019-present)
  • Perry Strickland – drums (1985–1993, 2001–2003, 2019-present)
  • Sean Killian – vocals (1986–1993, 2001–2003, 2019-present)
  • Bobby Gustafson - guitar (2020-present)
  • Christian Olde Wolbers - bass (2020-present)

Notable Past Members:

  • Robb Flynn – guitar (1987–1992)
  • Deen Dell – bass (1985–1993, 2001–2003, 2019-2020)


  • Eternal Nightmare (1988)
  • Oppressing the Masses (1990)
  • Nothing to Gain (1993)

This band displayed the following examples of these tropes:

  • Ax-Crazy: "Serial Killer"
  • Careful with That Axe: Sean Killian's unhinged yelps and howls are the stuff of legend.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: "Torture Tactics"
  • Creative Differences: Possibly what happened to Flynn, along with bad blood.
  • Dirty Cop: "Twelve Gauge Justice" is about either this or a Knight Templar.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Eternal Nightmare" is 6:11 minutes long
    • "I Profit" from Oppressing the Masses is their longest song, being 7:05 minutes
    • "Welcoming Party / This Is System" from Nothing to Gain is the second longest, being 6:54
  • Fun with Acronyms: T.D.S
  • Intoxication Ensues: "T.D.S. (Take It As You Will)"
  • Motor Mouth: This was Killian's specialty.
  • New Sound Album: Nothing to Gain had more pronounced post-thrash elements and was more in the vein of Pantera than their earlier material.
  • The Rival: To Forbidden, originally. It started when they tried to grab Craig Locicero, who turned down the offer (by his own admission, he had the chops for it, but his playing and writing styles and musical preferences were not a good fit), and then grabbed Robb Flynn shortly after (as per Craig, it was less that they grabbed Robb and more that all parties involved lied to his face about Robb joining until they had to drop the news). They then apparently began acting like king shit and like they were going to be the next big thing, only for Forbidden Evil to sell way more and for Forbidden to get the better tour offers, and it led to a deep divide in the Bay Area thrash scene between the two camps for quite a while.
  • Start My Own: Rob Flynn founded Machine Head after he left Vio-lence.
    • Phil Demmel, Deen Dell, Ray Vega and Mark Hernandez formed Torque, which was even less lived than Vio-lence. Phil Demmel joined Flynn in 2003.