io-lence started under the name The Death Penalty by guitarists Phil Demmel and Troy Fua, who quickly completed the line-up with Jerry Burr (vocals; who was replaced a year later with Sean Killian), Eddie Billy (bass; soon after replaced with Deen Dell) and Perry Strickland (drums). Their debut Eternal Nightmare in 1988 on the 'Mechanic' label featured Robb Flynn taking over from Fua, along with it becoming a minor hit by reaching the US top 200 for a month; the band also received some notoriety with the spin off single release featuring the cute catalogue number of "Vomit 1".
After moving to Johnny Z's 'Megaforce' label they would launch their follow-up album, Oppressing The Masses (1990). This album showed them in their classic line-up but received notoriety more for it's lyrics than any collegiate humor in cataloguing when the lyrics to the rather gory track Torture Tactics hit the news for when Sean Killian joined the band, he was able to tackle the lyric department; gone were the tongue-in-cheek lyrics replac with venomous epitaphs delivered at a madman's pace both in speed and conviction. Sold out shows ensued. Over the years, their Thrash sound had advanced little and after their final set, Nothing To Gain (1993), they folded; Flynn going on to more violent things with Machine Head.
After 8 years Vio-lence returned to the stage. In August of 2001 at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, Vio-lence once again showed their stuff. In true Vio-lence fashion they were surrounded by some of the best talent the Bay Area has ever assembled in a benefit show for Chuck Billy of Testament, with one fifty minute set they were officially back. Still reeling from the adrenaline the Thrash Of The Titans show injected into them, they followed up with a show at a hometown haunt called Slim's on December 14th, 2001. The line-up of Dean Dell (bass), Troy Fua (guitar),Sean Killian (vocals) and Perry Strickland (drums)then returned to release Opressing The Masses (2003).