VIOLENT HISTORY, Blackstone Valley Thrash (2010, Muerte)
You could say that there’s an octopus sneaking up on this plain Jane skull, but I prefer to imagine that the tentacles are just a crazy Lovecraftian mullet, sprouting majestically from the skull’s backside. Blackstone Valley sounds like the kind of place where a skull might think a tentaskullet is cool. But then, it turns out Blackstone Valley is in Rhode Island, and suddenly the parental warning sticker makes sense. Oldschool northeastern maternalistic neoliberalism strikes again!
Sloppy thrash with some grind and black metal influences, Violent History are almost good, but really need to spend more time rehearsing. The drummer has some great beats, but he struggles to get them across. Some of the riffing is intricate and twisted, while too much of it sounds like any third tier speed metal band. And then the vocals are the kind of uninspired hardcore yell that make everything worse. While the band obviously labels their music thrash, it’s only thrash by derivation. They aren’t trying to recapture the 80s sound and as such don’t bear much resemblance to your typical new thrash band, and I certainly appreciate that. There are only two songs on this EP, and they both have their share of bright moments, but there’s also enough garbage in each to make the listen an unpleasant experience on balance. A little more time in the garage and they could go somewhere, for sure.
— Friar Johnsen