Vio-Lence Blood & Dirt

Along with Testament, Forbidden, Exodus and a little band called Metallica, Vio-Lence ruled the Bay Area thrash scene in late ’80s San Francisco. However, mismanagement, piss-poor decisions and egos ultimately destroyed the group, and the double-disc set Blood & Dirt recounts it all, starting from the earliest days of tape-trading demos that would become the basis for their debut album, 1988’s Eternal Nightmare. Their first stage showed much promise — touring with Voivod and Testament, hiring metal grandmother Debbie Abono as manager and guitarist Robb Flynn leaving Forbidden to join up. The downward spiral started two years later: Vio-Lence’s sophomore album, Oppressing the Masses, was recalled due to offensive lyrics, Abono was fired, touring was a disaster, Flynn left to form Machine Head and the band fell apart. This documentary contains interviews with the band, friends and fans, and the concert videos span their primitive origins up through their reunion shows for and after the 2001 Chuck Billy benefit, Thrash of the Titans. The real torture tactics, however, are the lack of live footage from back in the day, replaced with the "new” band, circa 2001 and without the flamboyant Flynn. (Metallian/Megaforce)