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Violent Harm
(Hells Headbangers Records / AreaDeath Productions)

Do not confuse this band with the infamous trendy Swedish band of the same name. We're talking about the one and only ARCHENEMY here which used to devastate the L.A area back in the early / mid '80s with the likes of BLOODCUM and F.C.D.N. TORMENTOR. Back in the day with just a rehearsal tape spread around, they had clearly demonstrated that they were nothing but sorta like the answer to S.F.'s own Thrash / Death Metal gods, INSANITY - just not as technical - but incontestably as fuckin' heavy and deadly! Now the fuckin' mystery that surrounded that brutal act is over and here we have a complete album featuring nothing less than two rehearsal sessions from those undisputed Death / Thrash kings! One five song recording, that was unknown to this day, is completely instrumental and showcases nothing but an excellent mixture of early SLAYER, POSSESSED, early DEATH and CELTIC FROST (check out those slow ultra heavy breaks!). The material was already fuckin' fast for its time but it hadn't yet reached the point that it would do a couple months later! Some Hardcore overtones can be heard here and there notably on 'Violent Abuse', but this is no wimpy / boring shit, as those guys were into the likes of D.R.I., A.O.D. etc a.k.a. the real ones. On their famous March 1986 five song session hardly anyone would argue with the fact that ARCHENEMY had become one of the fastest bands on this planet at this point along with early WEHRMACHT, GENOCIDE / REPULSION, early CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, DEATH (late 1985 S.F. era) and INSANITY! 'Insomnia', 'Bodily Harm', 'Mortuary'... are all high speed doses of deadly mayhem, with some absolutely ripping riffing and awesome drumming. The vocals, while fitting the music quite well, could have been better if they had been in the total Death Metal range (à la Joe DeZuniga) but that's minor criticism considering how face melting the music is in this case. One of my all time favorite recordings, need I say more?!,

Laurent Ramadier

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