Almost by definition, every musical genre (and the Bay Area thrash metal scene was no exception) is launched by a small number of outstanding artists who go on to inspire a slew of second and third 'tier' acts (read: followers). Inevitably, these followers manage to ape the originators with varying success, only to fall prey to historical inconsequence shortly thereafter -- Vio-lence is a classic case study. Although never as talented as peers Death Angel or Testament, Vio-Lence survived by being one of the scene's most pro-active underground acts and a much better live act than your run of the mill Forbidden or Heathen. But with the glaring vocal shortcomings of vocalist Sean Killian cramping their style, committing their Exodus-inspired mosh anthems to vinyl on 1988's Eternal Nightmare would prove to be a greater challenge. Still, guitarists Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel manage to spark some excitement into the propulsive title track, the vicious "Kill on Command" and the raging crowd favorite "Serial Killer."
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AllMusic Review by John Franck