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Review: Vio-lence - Eternal Nightmare
Eternal Nightmare

Label: Megaforce Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 35:27
Tracks: 7
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: October 13, 2022
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.66/5 (93.13%) (67 Votes)

I can remember Eternal Nightmare from Vio-lence when it was released back in 1988. Who could forget that disturbing cover, right? Thrash was well established by 1988, having hit a peak a few years earlier and it was starting to get a little stale around the edges. By the time Eternal Nightmare was released, doing something a little different was growing as a trend and Vio-lence had a somewhat different vocal approach that set theoretically them apart. The music is sharp and riff-oriented and upon relistening to the album, courtesy of a new Metal Blade reissue, I find it to be like many of the other thrash records of that era. The solos squeal, the guitars cut and the drums pound. There's nothing wrong with it, but on the flip side, there's nothing special about it. The vocals are clean, not gritty or gravelly, and high-pitched with something of a barking delivery, like you might hear from crossover bands or ones influenced by the hardcore scene. Some reviewers I've read really seem to dislike vocalist Sean Killian's singing. I don't remember having a strong opinion about it back in '88 and it is still six of one, half-dozen of the other to me. Others say it is the vocals that give Eternal Nightmare an original sound, but I don't hear anything Overkill's Bobby Ellsworth and Nuclear Assault's John Connolly weren't already doing by the time Eternal Nightmare was released. I played this album a lot back when I DJ'ed the metal show on my college radio station and I found it generic then and not much has changed. I know this album has its fans, and I have my favorites that others probably don't like, but I just don't hear anything on Eternal Nightmare that makes it anything beyond an average late '80s thrash album. I will say that if you live and breathe thrash and don't have Eternal Nightmare, it is a solid record, and I would never tell someone NOT to check it out. If you do already own a copy and love it, this reissue adds a full live set from back in the day that sounds pretty good, so a little extra value if you decide you need to update your copy.

Note: duration listed is for the original 7-track album only and does not include the second disc of live material.

Additional Information

- 2022 reissue on Metal Blade Records reviewed.

More about Vio-lence...
Review: Eternal Nightmare (reviewed by Eddiethe'Ead)
Review: Eternal Nightmare (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Let the World Burn (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with guitarist Phil Demmel on May 17, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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