Vio-lence - Eternal Nightmare 30th Anniversary Tribute
All interviews conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: May 5, 2018
The heyday of Thrash Metal was in the late eighties with many great albums like The Legacy (Testament), The Ultra-Violence (Death Angel), Taking Over (Overkill), Terror Squad (Artillery), No Place for Disgrace (Flotsam and Jetsam), Breaking the Silence (Heathen), Forbidden Evil (Forbidden), Suffering Hour (Anacrusis), Beneath the Remains (Sepultura), Extreme Aggression (Kreator) and so many others could easily be listed here. Then came grunge with the Nirvanas, Pearl Jams, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. that (almost) killed Thrash, but let's not get into those ugly details.
One of the better Thrash Metal albums from the late eighties was Vio-lence's debut album, Eternal Nightmare. The album, recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco, was packed with tons of killer riffs and thoroughly excellent musicianship! It is one of the most consistent and thoroughly classic Bay Area Thrash Metal albums that was ever created. Those who disagree know nothing about REAL Thrash Metal (hasta la vista to all you poor sissies and pussies out there).
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Vio-lence's aggression-and-rage-fueled debut album, so we here at the headquarters of The Metal Crypt asked several musicians to share their thoughts about that Thrash Metal masterpiece.
Luxi: Can you remember the first time you heard Vio-lence's Eternal Nightmare album and how you felt after hearing it? Did it trigger something special or even "weird" in you?
Tom Martin (LICH KING): Yeah. It wasn't that long ago. In fact, I was already doing Lich King. I was working on the first album when I finally heard Vio-Lence, so around 2006/2007. That's a stupidly long time to be ignorant of something that good. I did have a strong reaction to it, and it felt like this was a piece of a puzzle that had fallen into my lap. I KNEW this piece, I did FEEL its presence, but I thought I was the only one. Every riff was stronger than the next and the energy kept mounting. I listened as much as I could while thinking, "oh man, this production stinks."
Dr. Rad (DR. LIVING DEAD!): I think the first time I came in contact with Vio-lence was on this Hard 'N' Heavy Volume 1 VHS tape that I borrowed from a pal. There were interviews plus the "Calling in the Coroner" fake live video. I remember being blown away even if it wasn't the full song. After that, I checked out the full album and was even more crushed. I just couldn't believe the amount of sick riffs in every damn song and Sean's vocals definitely added to the overall vibe of it and totally made it stand out from other bands.
Dr. Mania (DR. LIVING DEAD!): The first time I heard any of the music from the album was a clip from the "Calling in the Coroner" video, which was a part of a Thrash Metal documentary that was aired in Sweden around '03. They had put together this cool montage of all sorts of cool bands that I had only read about up until that point. I believe that documentary did a lot for the Swedish metalheads our age at that time who were getting deeper and deeper into the old school and were starting bands. After hearing the entire album, I couldn't believe the quality of it, especially Sean's vocals which to me were just beyond insanity. They had some sort of control amidst all the psycho walling. He truly comes across as a serial killer. Riffs, structure, intensity, vibe. It's Thrash Metal perfection.
Chris Poulos (EXARSIS): The first time I've heard Eternal Nightmare was 10 years ago through the Internet while searching for something more underground than Slayer and Exodus. I'm a big collector of CDs but the Internet helped me find a lot of awesome bands. When I heard Sean Killian's vocals I thought there was a madman behind the microphone and who sounded like no one else and Phil Demmel's riffs on this album are sick. This is what I call a unique album. E.N. became my favorite Thrash album instantly. I think you can find some of E.N.'s influence in our albums.
Ricky Wagner (REZET): It is kind of funny because it's not one of those records I spin every once in a while, but I just listened to it when your question popped up on my screen. It's one of those records that didn't click right away with me, you know. But neither did the Peace Sells... album or things like Mercyful Fate or Black Flag, all stuff I love listening to. It must have been 10 years ago or so when I first listened to Eternal Nightmare, around 2005-2008 when I really dove into the whole Thrash thing. It was probably Rezet's cofounder Thorben Schulz who showed me the album. He still likes it a lot, but I remember just being overwhelmed by the sheer aggression and speed at which those guys played. And then the vocals come in and I'm like, 'whoa, this dude sucks!' Hahaha, so yeah, it really triggered something "weird" but good music is rarely easy to get along with immediately. I bow down to bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Motörhead, etc. for that.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): It was not too long after its release when I heard the album for the first time and it blew my head off. I didn't like the vocals at first. It took some time to get used to and appreciate them, but I loved everything else immediately. The riffing, the drumming and the songwriting, as well as the production, was top-notch. The overall intensity level was almost on par with Slayer's Reign in Blood which was the ultimate Thrash Metal album then and now. Like I said, Sean Killian's vocal delivery was really quite annoying at first as for such aggressive Thrash Metal you'd expect and wish for a bit harsher vocal approach, à la Sacrifice or Dark Angel. Eventually, the vocals grew on me and I learned to appreciate it as an element that made the band more special.
Kami Launonen (BRAINTHRASH): It was around '00 when I truly got into Thrash Metal. I found out about all the Bay Area bands and Vio-lence was one of them. To be honest, at first, Sean Killian's vocals distracted me from the brilliant riffs the album had. It took some time to get used to his style, but when it happened, I couldn't stop listening to Vio-lence. It grew in me like a tumor. I was obsessed... And still am.
T. Karburator (DESTRUKT): It was back 17 years ago at a friend's place. I remember that I thought the singer sounded like Flynn, although Rob was only on guitars on this album. I just asked myself, "why did Flynn go so wrong?" Actually, and IMO, Flynn moved forward because he got the essence of the mid 90s. I was 13 when the first Machine Head came out and it was a massive thing back in the days. Why? Because the quality of the riffing on the first M.H. comes directly from Vio-lence.
Fuzz Sick (BULMASATARRA): Back in the early 90s a friend of mine got a compilation that contained two Vio-lence songs from the album Oppressing the Masses and I was just amazed by them. I felt like I wanted to hear more about this band and quite soon I heard the band's debut album, Eternal Nightmare (as a recorded tape).
First, we were all amazed by the stunning album cover art of E.N., then we found some Slayer-like riffing that really caught our attention. After listening to the drums on "Bodies on Bodies", we were totally blown away! The energy, the speed and the catchy and aggressive guitar riffs were just amazing on that record. We paid attention to Vio-lence's style and it influenced our band's music. Although we liked Vio-lence's Bay Area Thrash style a lot, particularly liking that hardcore-like drumming and guitar riffs (e.g. "Serial Killer"), to be honest initially we did not like the vocals. That was something new and completely unusual to us at that time.
Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" (INSINNERATOR): I probably first heard Eternal Nightmare when I was 13 in 2004 or so. I had already been exploring the sounds of other Bay Area Thrash bands like Testament and Exodus, so I was ready to begin digging deeper. I believe I got Eternal Nightmare in the same batch that I got Alice in Hell and Power from Hell by Annihilator and Onslaught, respectively. Vio-lence's record stood out the most among the three, because of the sheer intensity. It didn't trigger anything weird, but as I was learning to play the guitar around this time, it showed me that every riff has to mean something. There can be no filler riffs.
Felipe Huerta (CONFLICTED): I remember when I first started hearing Metal music, I had some friends who were older than me and they had big collections of all kinds of classic Thrash, Heavy, Death Metal, etc. releases. Also around that time I enjoyed many old underground music magazines, newsletters, etc, giving me a chance to read about new Metal bands from those days. I got to know a lot of new bands via recorded tapes that my friends had collected.
Anyways, what stuck out from those tapes were the first two Vio-lence albums, which were true ear candy for me, especially the band's debut album, Eternal Nightmare. The album's got a sea of mad riffs that were fast, noisy and violent (so were their lyrics, to a certain extent I think). The bass and the drums were arranged in that classic Bay Area Thrash sound and let's not forget Sean Killian's totally insane, unusual vocal lines that sort of reminded me of the vocals of D.R.I.'s Kurt. I don't understand why Vio-lence broke up, they created some superior Thrash Metal back in the day. Now the two original Vio-lence guitarists are in Machine Head but they so sound modern, trendy and surely their stuff cannot be compared to the music that they did in Vio-lence. Where's the aggression, where's the badass attitude and why have they forgotten how to do killer Thrash? Well, perhaps after some time even I can better understand and respect what the guys are doing with Machine Head these days.
Malice (VOLITION): I first heard "Kill on Command" around 2009, when I was still in high school. I was not immediately blown away upon first hearing it, I was still knee-deep into Black Metal. However, I was starting to get into underground Thrash Metal from the heyday; I was listening to mainly the German stuff during this time. However, I started listening to Eternal Nightmare a lot more and the album grew on me with every listen.
Rober Pardo (PANDEMIA): Yes, of course. The first time I listened to it was in the last year of high school, along with a bunch of awesome bands like Coroner, Atrophy, Evildead, Aspid, Demolition Hammer or Hypnosia. Before that I'd already listened to bigger bands like Overkill, Death Angel, Kreator and Testament, but that year I really got into the "underground" 80s Thrash. You know, you discover Metallica at the beginning of adolescence and then you can't stop. Suddenly you are "infected" and you need to listen to more and more Thrash bands haha!!
The first time I listened to Eternal Nightmare I thought two things: "Fuck, how can these guys play so damn fast?" and "Woah, that voice is killing my ears hahah!" But I quickly learned to love Sean Killian's voice and I got used to his tone.
Jesse "Thrasanen" (MANIAC ABDUCTOR): I heard it first time probably few years ago while browsing some Thrash Metal on YouTube. First, I didn't like it but nowadays it's truly one of my favourites!
Luxi: Eternal Nightmare obviously is one of the most aggressive, intense and Thrash-tastic Thrash Metal albums ever created. Did this album teach you something about going wild and crazy with your songwriting?
Tom Martin (LICH KING): More like it affirmed what I'd thought for a long time. I'd always suspected that music like this was possible, it could and should be written, but it was a very vague idea. I think of energy as a kind of scaffolding you build on over the course of a song, and I'd had a feeling that this sort of thing could be accomplished. I responded to the album in a way that was not unlike "Okay. Yes. Me too."
Dr. Rad (DR. LIVING DEAD!): I guess it taught me that every fucking riff has to be good and that even if you write more complex stuff, it's still important never to lose the catchiness. At least if you want to have that savage effect on people.
Dr. Mania (DR. LIVING DEAD!): Yes, it definitely epitomizes the Punk Rock flavor in the nature of this genre and that taught me a lot. It's controlled chaos and full on "fuck-you-this-is-how-we-sound" attitude.
Chris Poulos (EXARSIS): We used to cover "Kill on Command" back in 2011-12 and due to being our favorite band at the time it really helped us develop our vocals on The Brutal State, which made us stand out at the time. Of course, it inspired us a lot on the mosh parts. Along with Anthrax they are the masters of "mosh" riffing.
Ricky Wagner (REZET): To be honest, I just like listening to it as well as their later stuff. But it didn't really affect my songwriting, maybe it did for Thorben, but you would have to ask him about that.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): At the time I discovered Vio-lence I was already familiar with many of the most aggressive and extreme bands from those days, so in terms of extremity and such there was nothing shocking about Vio-lence, but it was so intense and such a solid album that it kept finding its way to my tape player over and over again even though it had to compete with all the Death Metal stuff that I was getting more and more into. I really admired Vio-lence's talent for writing such uncompromising and hectic Thrash Metal. It all seemed to come off violent, as if that was the most natural thing in the world. They were called Vio-lence for a reason! They've got an insane level of energy and aggression but it's always musical and memorable. There's nothing forced or fake sounding on that album and it surely inspired me as a songwriter especially on the very early Phlegethon (my old band, active '88 -'92) material.
Kami Launonen (BRAINTHRASH): Yes, it taught me a lot, or at least I'm trying to be a good student, haha!! It taught me how far you can stretch the Thrash Metal song pattern without becoming a prog band. The number of riffs this album has is probably times 10 what a "normal" Thrash album has. Still, the songs progress, make sense and kick ass 100% of the time with 100% power. We all love Thrash songs with lots riffs, don't we? The truth is, this kind of art is extremely hard to master. There are so many things that can go wrong. That's because there's no standard in creating music. What you have to do is follow your gut, but you have to remember there are 4 other members who probably have a different feeling. I really have to hand it to Phil Demmel & the boys. When you listen to "Kill on Command", the song flows like shit from duck's ass. But imagine being in your rehearsal place and not having a single riff or melody or having 10 riffs and nothing else. You have to put them in the right order, create vocal lines, drum patterns and figure everything out. It's not that easy anymore, is it? Making songs is CRAZY! All in all, I believe it's nearly impossible to make more extreme Thrash than Eternal Nightmare. In a way, extreme music peaked in 1988. There was totally kick ass Death Metal after that, but that is a different kind of extreme.
T. Karburator (DESTRUKT): Vio-lence was part of the later scene in the US, along with bands like D.H., Acrophet or Executioner (E-X-E) for example. And they brought more technicality to the main root of Thrash Metal. The Finnish scene had a few of bands in the same vein, foremost Stone and A.R.G.
Fuzz Sick (BULMASATARRA): At the time we heard Eternal Nightmare, we were all digging this so-called Crossover-Thrash genre. Eternal Nightmare definitely has a lot of that Hardcore spirit in it, but technically it's far superior (compositions, arrangements, execution, etc.) with catchy, aggressive and fast riffing, the vocals' uncontrolled discharge of energy, hyper-speed drumming parts, etc. and yeah, I admit we tried to adopt all that for our band. We were fond of the band's intensity, speed and catchy riffs ("Phobophobia" in particular) and we thought playing fast and aggressive would make up for our lack of technical skills so to speak. We all thought that Vio-lence was way a more aggressive, fresher, cruder and faster version of Anthrax and Slayer.
Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" (INSINNERATOR): Eternal Nightmare showed me that focus and passion are needed throughout a record. What I mean is that every riff has to have a goal. THIS riff here has to induce pummeling. THIS riff here has to not only get us back to the verse but has to start the pit. And of course, every riff in Thrash Metal needs to be backed by intensity. Sometimes, intensity can be subjective to the audience, but when the musician plays with complete conviction and passion, it can bring up the aggression even if the note choice isn't the preferred one of the listener.
Felipe Huerta (CONFLICTED): I think Vio-lence's music has greatly inspired and influenced what we do in Conflicted. I think their first two albums, Eternal and Oppressing are true masterpieces. When we were younger we were often blasting those albums while drinking and having a great time together and discovering new details about these two fine records every time we listened to them. One could say we were kind of possessed by the enormous amount of intensity and energy that were found on these two Vio-lence albums.
Malice (VOLITION): It is one of the best Thrash Metal albums ever. The riffs were insane and aggressive, production was just right, Sean's vocals sounded like a deranged lunatic who just walked in the studio after committing murder just hours earlier. Like he isn't the narrator but a participant. I wouldn't say it influenced me musically, but lyrically it was very influential, especially in Volition's early years when writing songs.
Rober Pardo (PANDEMIA): What really hooks me about this album is the brutal riffage that it contains. The relation between quality and quantity is really remarkable. I mean, they are so fucking fast and the riffs are so hard to play that it has always been a challenge for me to hear every single note in the album. I would highlight that very few bands played Thrash as fast and clean as Vio-lence in those years. To play fast is relatively easy, but a good fast and clean picking/drumming is something fucking difficult to achieve.
Jesse "Thrasanen" (MANIAC ABDUCTOR): No, I don't think so.
Luxi: Does this album have the essence of what Thrash Metal should be all about?
Tom Martin (LICH KING): That's difficult to say. Thrash is many things to many people. For example, I can't stand Kreator, but tons of Thrash people think they're great, so I keep my mouth shut. At its core I feel like Thrash Metal is about anxiety and desperation. For my personal tastes, I feel like Eternal Nightmare is the utmost that Thrash can accomplish when distilled to the purest white lightning possible while ... And Justice for All is different but just as worthy to show what Thrash can aspire to. The sad thing is that Vio-lence created something not viewed as artistically valid. I don't know why that is. An album full of mosh-mad, high-test head-bangable riffs isn't regarded as advancing the art of Metal. I don't know if it ever really was. Kinda in the same way that comedies aren't nominated for best picture, you know? It's a shame, and I don't know how to help reverse that perception.
Dr. Rad (DR. LIVING DEAD!): 100% of course!!!
Dr. Mania (DR. LIVING DEAD!): It is the standard, I would say. Along with a few other classics, this album is what it's all about.
Chris Poulos (EXARSIS): This album has some of the best and unique Thrash Metal riffs ever. The vocals that sound like no one else (every Thrash band back then had their own personality; today every band sounds the same). They were awesome live, they had the Hardcore Punk attitude but sounded so Metal, they even had Ed Repka on their cover. If this is not the best Thrash album to refer to then tell me what is?!!
Ricky Wagner (REZET): If you say "Thrash", this album is definitely something that unveils the basic elements of that genre. Fast drums and riffs, rarely melodic or harmonic in the classical sense but more focused on the technical precision of each instrumental track. The beats and riffs are very Thrash and in no way classic Heavy Metal or anything Rock. So yeah, you're probably right in saying this is an essential Thrash album. People that know me and my band know that I don't think too much about genres and labels because I don't want to be limited. I'm not saying Violence limit themselves in any way. Especially regarding this being released in the 80s, it was rather pioneering in speed and "fuck you" attitude, I guess.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): Quite perfectly, I'd say. If Martians asked what this thing called Thrash Metal is, you could give them Eternal Nightmare. Essentially Thrash Metal, as is Metal in general, is about great riffs and this album has plenty. While the riffing is in rather typical Bay Area Thrash Metal style, it's ferocious and feverish enough to wipe floors with the Death Angels and Testaments (with all respect to both bands' early works that are totally essential and some of the finest Thrash Metal) and the songwriting is brilliant and memorable from the first note to the very last sound. It'd be unfair to ask for more. The guitar solos are awesome as well; a really cool mix of melody and aggression. Obviously, a great Thrash Metal band needs a great drummer and the drumming is most certainly not an issue on Eternal Nightmare. It's actually some of the best skin-beating I've heard on any Thrash Metal album. So hectic and crazy, but always tight and bloody groovy. I can understand the vocals might not be for everyone, but personally, I dig the chaotic vibe of it even though it's technically under total control. You have these great, really tight players in the band, and then there's this madman yelling out over the music with his tone sailing up and down with such passion that it's almost scary. Also, the classic Ed Repka cover art is superb! As far as I'm concerned, this criminally underrated album has pretty much everything that Thrash Metal is all about. At least some of the guys went on to find major success in Machine Head, which speaks volumes about what kind of horse shit the metal kids eat up.
Kami Launonen (BRAINTHRASH): For me, this album (along with Coroner's Punishment in Decadence) embodies the essence of the greatest Thrash Metal prrretty damn well! Of course, it's not the be all, end all of Thrash. There are dozens of brilliant albums, each brilliant in its own way. Kill 'em All, Beneath the Remains and Bonded by Blood are all different animals. They hit a certain nerve and embody a certain era and aspect in Thrash Metal. Still, when all is said and done, when thinking of best Thrash Metal possible for my taste, Eternal Nightmare music-wise, lyric-wise, sound-wise and attitude-wise, is an invincible album.
T. Karburator (DESTRUKT): I think this album is extremely solid with very aggressive guitars. This album brilliantly took a lot of classic Thrash elements and placed them in their state of time. Probably one of the best later Thrash Metal releases ever.
Fuzz Sick (BULMASATARRA): The album represents the multiple expressions of Thrash Metal; the intensity, the speed, the aggression, headbangable riffs, absolutely crazy and lunatic vocals of Sean Killian, etc. It can all to be found on the monster of an album known as Eternal Nightmare.
Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" (INSINNERATOR): It captures the essence of thrash perfectly. It has an energy from start to finish. It has a technical finesse and level of musicianship that coveys the ideas of the album in a cohesive manner. And honestly, Eternal Nightmare has a bit of confidence to it, and I mean that in a completely positive way! The album is self-aware, it KNOWS it's amazing, and Vio-lence presented it as being an important record. More Thrash bands need to have that level of confidence in their work. They wanted it to be a game changer, and they presented it as such. The level of influence that album has had, especially on the New Wave of Thrash Metal, is unprecedented.
Felipe Huerta (CONFLICTED): Without any doubt, Vio-lence came from that geographical zone where this type of fuckin' killer Thrash Metal music was born. It wasn't difficult to understand why they made such aggressive and violent music and also dealt with some social issues and stuff that they had in the States back in those days. America had lots of social problems when Thrash Metal was born. Drug and alcohol problems, poverty, inequality, etc. All this frustration and antipathy were transferred to kids' aggressive and violent music, just like Vio-lence's. Perhaps those days reflect the poor situation in my country nowadays too, as we have lots of social and economic problems in Chile.
Malice (VOLITION): Eternal Nightmare has the components that make a great Thrash Metal record with the riffs, production, drumming, etc. It is essential for every Thrash Metal fan to have in their collection.
Rober Pardo (PANDEMIA): You're absolutely right, man. This album has the real patterns that every old school Thrash album should hold. In fact, when I was in high school I first heard about Machine Head and, as soon as I discovered that the guitar players had been playing in Vio-lence, I wanted to kill them for not following that good work. Machine Head is OK, but Vio-lence is the key to understanding Thrash as we know it today and Eternal Nightmare conveys the perfect mix between rage, velocity and technique. It angered me that that was over because of the creation of Machine Head.
Another important thing is the production of Eternal Nightmare. It has that sound that kicks your ass but incorporates the good taste of that time. Raw as fuck.
Jesse "Thrasanen" (MANIAC ABDUCTOR): Very well! Eternal Nightmare contains THE BEST Thrash Metal song ever written, in my opinion, and it is "Serial Killer". You can't write a better Thrash song than that! When I'm pissed off at work or somewhere else, I usually listen to that song so fucking loud, just to make me feel better!
Luxi: How well has Eternal Nightmare stood the test of time in your opinion?
Tom Martin (LICH KING): I don't have many opinions on this as I don't listen to many modern albums. I'm not bragging about being a nostalgic elitist, I swear, but I think Metal was perfected a long time ago and I don't hear anyone doing anything these days that's too worthwhile. I guess I'd say the production's pretty terrible, but we all knew that. I think that if this album were released now it'd still get a lot of attention, if only because no one's really eclipsed it since.
Dr. Rad (DR. LIVING DEAD!): I listen to it all the time and I still get blown away. It's one of those albums I just can't get tired of. I imagine a lot of people say the sound is dated but that's what I like.
Dr. Mania (DR. LIVING DEAD!): I love it more than ever, listen to it still and I am far more likely to put it on than say, Reign in Blood or something. It's just a fucking roller coaster and you cannot ever get tired of it.
Chris Poulos (EXARSIS): Eternal Nightmare is the best Thrash Metal album in my opinion. I really think the band could help the album stand out even in 2018 but sadly it has stayed an underground cult release. They could have been huge if they had continued, in my sincere opinion!
Ricky Wagner (REZET): I think it would still freak out a bunch of people with its speed. That's what comes to my mind when I think about that band and album; speed! The effect was surely more immense 30 years ago, but hey, good Metal stays forever. It isn't regarded as a definitive Heavy Metal masterpiece because it just hasn't got the hymns like on Master of Puppets or the earlier mentioned Peace Sells... But music isn't meant to be "the best song, riff, this or that" to me; it's the artist's way of expressing herself/himself in a current state. And Eternal Nightmare gets what it wants, so it will stand the test of time for me.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): It has stood the test of time astonishingly well. It's one of those albums that has aged really well which perhaps is one of the reasons why I return to it more often than many of its contemporaries. The album leaves me just as breathless in 2018 as it did in 1988.
Kami Launonen (BRAINTHRASH): Just like The Beatles, Beethoven or Elvis, Eternal Nightmare stands the test of time extremely well. I actually believe it stands its ground even better now than 30 years ago. When you listen to Rob Flynn's Machine Head, the 984,398,439,843 "little Panteras" or today's Thrash, Eternal Nightmare is doing mighty fine. That's because EN is an absolute riff heaven. How can that ever get old? Great riffs are great riffs, no matter if it's 1978, 1988 or 2018.
T. Karburator (DESTRUKT): There's been a kind of revival for Thrash Metal for over a decade. Lots of bands started where the Thrash stopped. This album stood the test of time and has never been so up-to-date than now. IMO none of the new Thrash bands beats it.
Fuzz Sick (BULMASATARRA): Eternal Nightmare is a perfectly great Thrash Metal release even today, although the album's production obviously isn't perfect. Nowadays you can find millions of retro-Thrash Metal bands that want badly to sound like Vio-lence's Eternal Nightmare; doing the kind of odd and even bizarre vocals of Sean Killian also seems to be very popular nowadays.
Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" (INSINNERATOR): Eternal Nightmare is still fresh, still intense, and still as energetic as when I first heard it. It absolutely has stood the test of time. Buuuuuuut... to be the Devil's advocate for just a moment, it does, in a way, have a generic Thrash sound. As great as the record is, it's very by the books. NWOTM bands who release similar albums now to Eternal Nightmare tend to get ripped on or get called "retro pizza Thrash" and the like. It makes me wonder IF a New Wave of Thrash Metal band released that exact same record in 2018, would they be put into the upper tier of Thrash, or would it be called generic? I personally think Eternal Nightmare has stood the test of time, but one could argue that it's a record that succeeds as a product of 1988.
Felipe Huerta (CONFLICTED): Nowadays many new bands are inspired by old-school Thrash Metal; bands that existed during the 80s. Many of the world's problems have remained the same and the gap between poor and rich people is sadly constantly increasing. There's a constant menace of a 3rd World War, nuclear and environmental disasters, xenophobia, intolerance, racial and sexual prejudices, fascism and human abuses among other things as well.
Eternal Nightmare is one of the foundations of Thrash Metal, and we are trying to keep Thrash Metal alive for our own part, the way Vio-lence did back in the day. I hope new generations of metalheads will find out about this absolutely essential Thrash Metal album, which we are talking about right here.
Malice (VOLITION): I think the record's production can be a bit dated, at least for recent years. With that said, the songs alone make it stand the test of time.
Rober Pardo (PANDEMIA): It's difficult not to take into account other Vio-lence releases. For example, Oppressing the Masses is the perfect sequel and I think it's an incredible way to reach the top as a band. We are talking about the very beginning of the 90s and, unfortunately, Thrash lowered its standards everywhere, but Vio-lence kept it true.
Definitely, Eternal Nightmare is one of those albums that you brush the dust from and you really enjoy hearing again. Even to this day I am writing this with my poster of Eternal Nightmare watching me from the top of the wall in my bedroom haha!!
Jesse "Thrasanen" (MANIAC ABDUCTOR): I think it's has been doing quite well and it's getting more and more attention, which is great because Eternal Nightmare is a fine piece of Thrash Metal!
Luxi: Okay, let's go a bit silly now: Eternal Nightmare < ?
Tom Martin (LICH KING): Uh... dogs, I guess.
Dr. Rad (DR. LIVING DEAD!): A better album than E.N.? That's gonna have to be Rust in Peace (by Megadeth) or some shit. And even that is a close one. I always felt that Oppressing... was just as strong though so that would be a tie.
Dr. Mania (DR. LIVING DEAD!): Yeah, I'd have to agree with my colleague about Rust in Peace. But at the same time, Vio-Lence and E.N. are truly incomparable; they were just so damn unique and it's really unfair to put them up against anything. The pioneers.
Chris Poulos (EXARSIS): I've always stated that Eternal Nightmare is my favorite Thrash album so I've never thought about another option, but Bonded by Blood is probably the one that can share first place as the best Thrash Metal record. Bonded... is equally violent and a lot more effective on our Thrash Metal scene though I guess.
Ricky Wagner (REZET): E.N. is better than any Glam band or electro nonsense. Probably not as good as Bach though...
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): As much as I like this album, there are some Thrash Metal records that are better or more important to me than Eternal Nightmare such as Slayer's Reign in Blood and Hell Awaits, Kreator's Terrible Certainty, Sacrifice's Forward to Termination, Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets and Dark Angel's Darkness Descends. But these days Eternal Nightmare gets more plays from me than the others, so there has to be something magical to it.
Kami Launonen (BRAINTHRASH): Well, like I said earlier, I've been listening to Thrash almost 20 years now and the only album I could ever rank over EN is Coroner's Punishment in Decadence. There's no other album on this planet that can compete with EN's riff attack combined with skillful playing and multi-sectioned songwriting, without being technical wankery. So, the greatest Thrash album ever made is pretty much a tie! Eternal Nightmare <> Punishment in Decadence.
T. Karburator (DESTRUKT): As I said before, Vio-lence were one of the flag bearers of Thrash Metal, among many others, so before comparing anything too silly, let's try to compare it to its relatives. This album is IMO definitely better than any of the Viking albums, period. I really like the 89' LP from Acrophet titled Faded Glory. So, there you are: Eternal Nightmare < Faded Glory.
Fuzz Sick (BULMASATARRA): Jajaja... < Oppressing the Masses. ;o)
Christopher "Atomic Thrasher" (INSINNERATOR): Eternal Nightmare < Invocator's Excursion Demise. Or, Insinnerator's Hypothermia (like I said earlier, have some confidence!).
Felipe Huerta (CONFLICTED): So Far, So Good... So What! by Megadeth. I think it's overall just a better-sounding album than Eternal Nightmare because they had a better budget to record that album.
Malice (VOLITION): Persecution Mania by Sodom.
Rober Pardo (PANDEMIA): Haha, ok. I'll say it... Eternal Nightmare < Epidemic of Violence. I can't help it, I love Demolition Hammer above most things!!
Jesse "Thrasanen" (MANIAC ABDUCTOR): Eternal Nightmare < Riders of Doom by Deathrow.
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