CHRIS VIOLENCE - AMERICAN RIPPER (Independent)
Chris Violence was the charismatic lead vocalist of US Power/Speed/Thrash Metal band Cessation Of Life. There was a good cooperationover the years between Metal To Infinity webzine and the band, Chris offered us physical COL material what we did to accept with much of appreciation. Check out the CD Reviews topic to read our opinions of some of their releases. For sixteenyears, he hasdedicated himself with heart and soul until one day Chris made the announcementof hisdeparture. Along with Cessation Of Live, he created four full length efforts, one live album, five EP recordings, several US Tours. This fullydedicatedtoMetalmusician felt that the timehad come to do something else… he just wants to pursue other ventures in life. It has been manyyears since I came in touch with Chris via Metal To Infinity webzine, he delivered the very best in terms of US Speed/Thrash Metal and like to thank him from the heart for being a respectful musician during that period of time.
Since July 2014 he weekly presented the Chris Violence Traveling Damnation Show on Kosher Metal, a free online Metal radio broadcasting, 24 hours a day! Last news I’ve heard about Chris as DJ, he should be stopped last night. Chris states: “I will be moving my Traveling Damnation Show to Metal World Radio: www.MetalWorldRadio.com starting Wednesday September 17th, 2014. My show will air from 4:00 - 7:00pm Eastern time (1:00-4:00pm Pacific). The format of the Traveling Damnation Show will remain the same. I will be interviewing bands, playing unsigned Metal act's, reminding you of Heavy Metal's root in "Chris' Classic Metal Corner" and doing my best to bring you the very best from the Heavy Metal world.”
But I’m sure that his main purpose is still making music with a full band… last year, he set up his own solo project under the name Chris Violence. For 18 months, Chris worked his fingers to the bone to create 8 new songs which can all be heard on “American Ripper”, released independently in July 2014. Surrounded by John Dubose (bass/rhythm guitar) and Jamie Page (lead guitar), thebaldman with thelong beard is back with a totally new andabove all, verysurprising cut.
“American Ripper” seems to be recorded in good conditions which means, the sound quality is highly enjoyable ! The album has been charged with eight songs, some of them give me a good feeling – some don’t at all. Opener is at once the title track and makes me feel real good. If all the songs have been made of this caliber, we were definitely dealing with a very strong album but I’m truly afraid to assert the contrary in some way. ‘Anatidaephobia’ sounds like a decent, Anthrax-alike, powerthrashing instrumental filled with annoying, funny spoken passages. The musical part of this track convinces me all over but the so called vocal interventions are a bridge too far for me, I really can’t get a grip on. Next ‘Burning Bridges’ sounds even more bizar/odd! I hear a fantastic guitar solo towards the end and that’s it for me. ‘Down The Hall’ comes through my speakers in a dark and doomy way, unfortunately the vocals are still unable to tune me well. A great guitar shred comes rescue me out of this predicament. I really cross my fingers and hope the second part of Chris Violence’s “American Ripper” album will do much better.
‘Fuck Shit Up’ may be the first to start round two and hell yeah, this composition emerges like the title track did, straight forward and full US Power/Speed Metal minded. The contrast with the previous three songs is endless large, with great admiration I keep listening to the song which brings me new hope to hear the remaining tracks as well. On ‘Soft Mothers Embrace’, Chris Violence’s voice delivery is outstanding and does me reminds me of Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth and Greg Smith of Aussie 80s Thrash Metal band Addictive. Power/Thrash Metal frenzy and also next song ‘The Working Dead’ offers me a good time, not the band’s best shot but still a good acceptable piece. Last one ‘Wake Up And Smile The Dirt’ follows the Grindcore Metal tradition which isn’t my cup of tea at all, especially the vocals belonging to this brutal gem I dislike.
With an album like “American Ripper”, Chris Violence has proven that he is capable of to surprise the Metal community quite a lot. I got to know him at that time with his band Cessation Of Life and had a great time listening to their albums but would I compare those days with the music as I’ve heard on American Ripper? Well, just for a few tracks only, the rest of the compositions can hardly convince me because of the strange twists and turns and weak/odd way of vocal delivery. I will underline the fact that, on those tracks I admire, Chris’ throat sounds very good, used to know from his days with COL. This is a daring album full of surprises and varieties - if you love musical versatility in terms of Metal music I would suggest to give “American Ripper” a fair chance to check out as I did out of respect for a great musician and Metalhead pur sang, Chris Violence ! Stop by at free will at: http://www.chrisviolence.com/ or listen/order via: http://chrisviolence.bandcamp.com/album/american-ripper
My Points: 75 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish