Ultra-Violence – Operation Misdirection (Review)

Ultra-ViolenceUltra-Violence are an Italian thrash metal band and this is their third album.

Ultra-Violence play ripping thrash metal, pumped up to the max with a love of extremity and good tunes. Yep, this is fast, sharp, and energetic stuff.

Shredding and tearing through its playing time, the album is exactly the kind of adrenaline shot that thrash metal has always threatened to deliver when at its best. Brutal and intense, this is the harsh, ferocious side of thrash metal tempered with a keen sense of character and songwriting presence.

Yes, there’s more than just speed and aggression here. If this was all that Ultra-Violence were capable of then we would still have a very impressive slab of thrash metal, but thankfully they have more tricks up their leather sleeves than just this. The band are more than capable of taking their collective feet off the accelerator and hammering out some decent mid-paced sections, for example. Even more importantly, they are also adept at creating some quite affecting atmospheric moments too, which is not something I was expecting. This is a band with heart as well as blades.

The band are precise and tight in their delivery, and some of the riffs on this album you could cut yourself on. Theirs is a channelled rage, one that only subsides when they reach a form of cathartic apotheosis which then sees them capable of exploring less venomous areas of their sound; this is when they show how proficient they are at creating atmosphere and feeling.

Out of the eight tracks each one has its own style and individuality. The strength of the songwriting is absurdly high, and there are loads of inventive ideas and creative flourishes strewn across the album’s playing time.

The singer shouts and snarls his way through the tracks with passion, zeal, and no small amount of character. Like the music though, he’s capable of emotive delivery too, and his performance on these songs is very impressive.

I always tend to favour thrash metal when it’s on the more violent side, and this certainly qualifies. I like it even more when it also offers something more than this as well, however. There’s real substance and depth on this album.

There’s also a Dire Straits cover…

Operation Misdirection is the sound of classic thrash metal know-how filtered through a modern lens. Ultra-Violence have somehow managed to blend together old and new to create something pretty damn special. Having been reared on classic thrash metal it’s great to hear this updated for 2018, while still retaining all of its strengths. I haven’t felt this excited for a thrash record in quite some time.

With good songs, good riffs, and good personality, Operation Misdirection is a very tasty listen. Check this out.

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