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Thrash Metal Pioneers Vio-Lence Ink Record Deal with Metal Blade

The Bay Area thrashers haven't released a new album since 1993

Vio-Lence record deal
Vio-Lence, photo by Raymond Ahner
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Pioneering Bay Area thrashers Vio-Lence have signed a record deal with the iconic label Metal Blade. The band hasn’t released a new album since 1993, but the signing implies Vio-Lence plan to record and release a new LP.

“My first real exposure to thrash metal was brought to me by Metal Blade Records in the form of Slayer’s Show No Mercy, which turned into my first live thrash metal show when I saw Slayer at The Keystone Berkley,” vocalist Sean Killian said in a press release. “Today, being able to announce that Vio-Lence has signed an agreement to bring new music to thrash metal fans and future thrash metal fans around the world with our partners Metal Blade Records is a very proud moment for me and Vio-Lence.”

He added: “Metal Blade has been involved in thrash metal since the beginning with their compilation Metal Massacre, and they have stood the test of time because of their love for heavy music. Thank you everyone at Metal Blade Records for believing in Vio-Lence and for being fans of the music I love.”

Formed in 1985 in the thrash epicenter of San Francisco, Vio-Lence were among the earliest partitioners of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, and others. Their 1988 debut, Eternal Nightmare, is considered a classic of the genre and is among the first contributions of guitarists Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn to the heavy metal canon.

Flynn and Demmel would go on to form Machine Head in the early ’90s, with Vio-Lence officially disbanding in 1994. After a strong sophomore effort with 1990’s Oppressing the Masses, Vio-Lence’s third album, Nothing to Gain, was an awkward stab at the Pantera-esque groove metal prevalent at the time (a style Demmel and Flynn would eventually hone in Machine Head).

Demmel and company (sans Flynn) revived Vio-Lence briefly from 2001 to 2003, and then reunited once again in 2018. The current lineup consists of classic members Demmel on lead guitar, Killian on vocals, bassist Deen Dell, and drummer Perry Strickland. The touring lineup is rounded out by Bobby Gustafson.

Vio-Lence are playing select U.S. shows and festival dates in the coming months, with an Australia/New Zealand tour to follow this summer. You can get tickets here.

Check out the full list of dates and watch fan footage of the reunited lineup performing live last year in Brooklyn below.

Vio-Lence 2020 Tour Dates:
03/20 – Raleigh, NC @ The Pour House Music Hall
03/21 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
04/18 – Oakland, CA @ Metro Operahouse *SOLD OUT
05/01 – Mexico City, MX @ Domination Festival
05/22 – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Death Fest
06/05 – Austin, TX @ Oblivion Access Fest
07/07 – Canberra, AU @ The Basement
07/08 – Brisbane, AU @ The Outpost
07/09 – Melbourne, AU @ Max Watt’s
07/10 – Sydney, AU @ Crowbar
07/11 – Adelaide, AU @ Enigma
07/14 – Wellington, NZ @ Valhalla
07/15 – Auckland, NZ @ Whammy Bar
08/08 – Derbyshire, UK @ Bloodstock Open Air
08/09 – Kortrijk, BE @ Alcatraz Fest
09/05 – Sao Paulo, BR @ Setembro Negro Festival
09/19 – Quebec, CA @ Death Fest
10/03 – Portland, OR @ The Bossanova Ballroom

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