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Privilege To Overcome

Punishment 18 (2013)
Rating: 6.5/10

These Italian thrashers are not the first, nor probably the last band to exist under the moniker Ultra-Violence. Even so, what they lack in originality is made up for in their passion to mosh.

This four-piece were formed in Turin during 2009 and in 2012 they released the five-track Wildcrash EP. A year later and we’re introduced to Privilege To Overcome, a 13-track thrash fest blessed with decent cover art from Ed Repka (Death, Megadeth, Atheist, Defiance etc) and a sound that does its best to embed itself firmly in the mid-1980s. Think Slayer (obviously), Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, old Exodus and vintage Metallica.

For the most part it’s a seething, sneering debut full-length album which boasts some seriously stomping tunes, which to be honest I didn’t expect. As I often say in my reviews concerning modern thrash bands, the emphasis always seems to be on aping the bands of yesteryear, and most of the new thrash acts seem to fail miserably, but Ultra-Violence seem to have found the right mix.

The guitars are crunchy, sprightly and have an ability to mosh at a fair pace, although the quartet are happy to slow the pace if needed, and that’s when the old Bay Area influence shines through. The twin guitar attack of Andrea Vacchiotti and Loris Castiglia, who also provides vocals, are pretty ferocious; Vacchiotti’s leads wouldn’t seem out of place on an old Slayer album, such are their flailing quality. Castiglia’s vocals are also of a serious nature, often spitting venom amidst the drum barrage of Simone Verre and Roberto Dimasi’s trembling bass.

Admittedly, the tracks do flit by in whirlwind fashion, the band often resorting to chaotic melody to stamp their influence, but the likes of ‘Stigmatized Reality’, ‘Restless Parasite’ and the lengthy ‘The Voodoo Cross’ are more than adequate numbers. Again, one will find themselves drowned by the almost archetype structures which most of us were familiar with back in the 1980s, but there is something intense about this little album, and I’m hoping it gets the credit it deserves rather than being swallowed within the scene which at the moment is brimming full of same sounding bands.

Ultra-Violence are not here to change the world of thrash, but one can’t help but tear down the walls to a track such as ‘10,000 Ways To Spread My Hate’ – even more staggering when one considers how young these guys look. Death Angel it isn’t, but Privilege To Overcome is a volatile speed fest of a record that should keep you going until lunchtime!

Neil Arnold

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