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Origin San Francisco Bay Area, United States
Genres Thrash metal
Years active
  • 1985–1993
  • 2001–2003
  • 2018
Associated acts
Past members Robb Flynn Phil Demmel
Jerry Birr
Eddie Billy
Ray Vegas
Mark Hernandez

Vio-lence was an American thrash metal band formed in 1985 in the San Francisco Bay Area. They released demo tapes, one EP and three LPs between 1985 and 1993. Their most stable line-up was Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn on guitars, Deen Dell on bass, Perry Strickland on drums and Sean Killian on vocals. After breaking up in 1993 and reuniting for a tour from 2001 to 2003, the members of Vio-Lence reunited in January 2018 for a benefit of Killian, who has been battling with liver cirrhosis.[1]


Initial career[edit]

After many line-up changes Robb Flynn (former Forbidden guitarist) joined the band. With this line-up, they signed a recording contract with Mechanic Records to release a demo tape in 1986 and a following album.

Soon after releasing their demo tape they entered the studio to record their debut album, called Eternal Nightmare, a seven-track album released in 1988.

Finally in 1990, their second album, Oppressing The Masses was launched on Megaforce Records with better distribution and marketing than their debut, Eternal Nightmare. A video for the song "World in a World" was also filmed.

In 1991 they released an EP Torture Tactics, which included three studio songs (old songs from the demo era which were recorded during the Oppressing The Masses sessions) and one live track from the Oppressing The Masses tour.

Internal conflicts in 1992 resulted in the departure of Robb Flynn who would move on to form groove metal band Machine Head. Vio-lence recorded their third and final studio album titled Nothing to Gain, which was released in 1993. It was followed by Perry Strickland's departure and the resulting dissolution of the band.


Phil Demmel, Deen Dell, Ray Vegas and Mark Hernandez formed a groove/thrash metal band called Torque which disbanded after releasing a studio album and playing several live shows. Demmel then went to form Technocracy. Robb Flynn remains active as the guitarist and singer of Machine Head. Demmel joined Machine Head in 2003, first as a session guitarist and later becoming a full-time member of the band.


Initially planning only a few shows as part of the tribute to Testament's Chuck Billy during the Thrash of the Titans benefit on 2001, the band decided to reunite with early guitarist Ray Vegas replacing Robb Flynn.

In addition to their 2005 re-release of Eternal Nightmare, the band released a 7-inch vinyl record containing two demo tracks from their original 1986 demo tape as well as one previously unreleased track. Only 1000 copies were produced and pressed by Bone Crusher Records. The 7 inch collectible was well marketed and advertised, but due to disagreements between the band and the Bone Crusher record producers, only Vio-lence was allowed to distribute and sell the 500 given to them by the producers. A deal was made to distribute a small quantity (about 100) through a Seattle record store, the only known store to stock the item for sale to the public.

A DVD entitled Blood And Dirt was produced by Jerry Allen - (Tales From The Pit video magazine) and released on August 8, 2006 through Megaforce.

On November 6, 2017, it was announced that the members of Vio-Lence would reunite for a performance at "Killian on Command: An Evening of Vio-Lence", a benefit for the band's singer Sean Killian, who was diagnosed with stage four liver cirrhosis earlier that summer.[1] The benefit took place at The Midway in San Francisco, California on January 20, 2018, and included performances by the members of Vio-Lence and their Bay Area thrash metal peers Testament, Exodus, Death Angel, Forbidden and Mordred.[1][2] The show concluded with a performance of "World in a World" featuring four-fifths of the Eternal Nightmare and Oppressing the Masses linueup; vocals were provided by Flynn instead of Killian, who did not perform due to his health condition.[3]


Final lineup
  • Troy Fua – guitar (1985–1987, 2001–2003)
  • Phil Demmel – guitar (1985–1993, 2001–2003)
  • Deen Dell – bass (1985–1993, 2001–2003)
  • Perry Strickland – drums (1985–1993, 2001–2003)
  • Sean Killian – vocals (1986–1993, 2001–2003)
Former members
  • Eddie Billy – bass (1985)
  • Jerry Birr – vocals (1985–1986)
  • Robb Flynn – guitar (1987–1992)
  • Ray Vegas – guitar (1991–1994, 2001)
  • Mark Hernandez – drums (1993)
  • Steve Schmidt – guitar (2001)







External links[edit]