Ultra-Violence
Wildcrash EP

Here’s the deal. It’s tough to make a splash with an album that culls from the vintage Bay Area thrash sound without coming off as second rate imitation. Fortunately, thrash metal fans – probably even more than death metal fans – are less concerned about originality than the average fan of heavy music. In that regard, the Wildcrash EP from young Italian thrashers Ultra-Violence should do reasonably well. They’ve got a load of hot riffs and a tight/intense delivery, as well as all the spirit and energy any fan could ever want. They just fall a little short in terms of ensuring listener memory-retention.

The incendiary tracks here recall the heavier/darker end of the spectrum with nods primarily to Bay Area acts like (early) Metallica, Exodus, and Death Angel, but with a healthy dose of the Teutonic (mainly Destruction) too. It is convincing from the standpoint of pure thrash energy and its pretty friggin’ heavy, thanks to the riffing/speed, drummer Simone Verre’s brutal approach to his kit, and guitarist Loris Castiglia’s aggressive vocals (his enunciation needs some work though). All of those qualities make songs such as the title track and “Frustration of Soul” pleasingly violent. Not overdoing the gang shouts and injected a few penetrating changeups also helps.

The issue of note is that the choruses aren’t quite there yet. We’re not talking the need for bright, shining hooks or anything of the sort. Hell, Dark Angel was about as far from happy ‘n hooky as you can get, but you could still grab on to a refrain like that heard on “Merciless Death.”  But when the blueprints on which you based your songwriting were assembled using material from Destruction, Testament, Death Angel, Metallica, and Exodus, you’ve can’t ignore the song-centric fundamentals at which all of these bands excelled.

That all sounds harsher than it is intended, as this is not intended to be an outright indictment of Ultra-Violence’s compositional skills by any means. It just means that the youngsters need more work in the chorus area. In all fairness, Ultra-Violence is farther along in their musical development than some bands that have been around a decade longer. Wildcrash is still a bit better-than-average, especially considering the youth of Ultra-Violence’s membership. But the potential here is enormous. Most of the pieces are already in place and when those last few songwriting kinks are worked out, then you better watch out!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
September 28th, 2012

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