REVIEW: ULTRA VIOLENCE – “Operation Misdirection”
If thrashing in public while losing all inhibitions is a crime, consider me guilty fellow metalheads. Luckily enough, the justifiable reason behind the atrocious head-banging, foot tapping and air guitaring is Ultra Violence blitzing fast new record, ‘Operation Misdirection’.
Thrash Metal has been one of the longest standing pillars defining extreme music for the misfits who like it fast, aggressive, captivating, and loud. Ultra Violence, being a part of the New Wave of Thrash metal, have engraved all of these elements into their upcoming ten track record. Sharpening the swords and readying their horses from 2009, the Italian four piece made their debut in 2012 with their EP ‘Wildcrash’. One EP and two albums later, the band carried on alongside Candlelight Records and since makes its name known to the heavy metal fanbase worldwide.
Vocalist and Rhythm Guitarist Loris Castiglia has stated that this is the most mature set of songs the band has put together, while broadening the musical spectrum by incorporating other elements into the albums thrash-esque dominated sound. In my opinion, that is just a very humble understatement to describe the album. Right off, the album smacks the listener, Ultra-Violent being the best suited adjective to describe the intensity delivered. “Cadaver Decomposition Island” is the opener for the album, and fellow thrashers will get hooked to the rhythm played straight on. This track represents the bands abilities, sound, and skill perfectly, right from the head bashing rhythms, melodic solos to the mood lifting chorus progressions. What is eccentric about this track, but yet so beautifully placed is the Italian classical guitar pieces at the end of the track. This delivers a very tranquil, aggression dampening, and soft ending to a track that is its polar opposite like the rest of the album; raw, raging, and cutthroat.
The rest of the album is filled with very strong, well arranged tracks oozing with heavy riffing in every single remaining minute. “Welcome to the Freakshow”, “Money for Nothing”, “My Fragmented Self” and “Shining Perpetuity” are fine examples of the aggressive thrash-esque heaviness. Regardless of how the album is being labelled thrash, the album is filled with extremity; as demonstrated by Francesco La Rosa’s death metal dread-inducing blastbeats in the opening track, and Andrea Lorenti’s funky bass lines in “The Acrobat”.
The song that really personally stands out is “Nomophobia”. Loris has mentioned on how the band has emphasized on making sure the music and lyrics connected and delivered the message behind, and this track is a fine example. The track directly attacks the newly manifested Fear of Missing Out (F.O.M.O), plaguing humans across generations, living in constant paranoia and anxiety of the thought of having to live a digitally unconnected life, in an age of technological dependence. “Break through your isolation, look into someone’s eyes” is a lyric in the song that perfectly describes the human tendency to lose real connection in chase of manifesting digital ones. As an individual of the millennial generation, aware of the time spent hogging digital content and embracing all that screen display light, I would like to thank the band for a very brutally induced, existentially shattering enlightenment, a 10/10 on getting the message across.
Regardless, what the band has put together is nothing short of a masterpiece that deserves its own pedestal. It touches topics that need to be spoken about, adds in new elements to compliment the music, but doesn’t lose on the thrash element that the worldwide metal community has grown with since the 1970’s.
‘Operation Misdirection’ is a powerful new album that is a must listen for the listeners of Thrash and appreciators of heavy, extreme music alike. It is absolutely well arranged, and aggressively delivered. Ultra Violence efforts into this manifestation are understood and appreciated. They very well deserve to be declared as the new faces of the thrash metal. Operation Misdirection is out July 27th via Candlelight Records!