Violent Life Violent Death
review published: 3/2/2017
Violent Life Violent Death are a metallic hardcore band hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. V-EP, the group's debut release, is a well-crafted and impressive introduction to the quintet.
Channeling elements of such groups as Ringworm and Integrity, Violent Life Violent Death draw from the heavier side of the hardcore spectrum. Zao-like screams lead the way through a fury of riffing that bridges the gap between the aforementioned 90s heavyweights and more modern grooves. It's a combination that manages to sound as fresh and exciting as it does familiar.
Opener "Straight Teeth" blazes through its frantic opening before delving into a spoken word section. The track speeds back up as it snakes through its structure. There is a fluidity to the ebb and flow of the song – seamless transitions that showcase attention-to-detail songwriting. This is something Violent Life Violent Death do particularly well throughout the record.
Tracks like "Swollen Hearts" and "Shallow Veins" utilize heavy breakdowns without coming off as forced or played out. Instead of the same old off-kilter palm-muted riff, Violent Life Violent Death call upon Most Precious Blood's strummed staccato style, providing a more chaotic feel.
The production on V-EP is excellent. Every instrument is crisp and clean, yet still sounds raw enough to contribute to the band's overall rugged sound. The EP has air of intensity about it, likely carried over from the group's live shows.
V-EP closes with "Sharp Suits," perhaps the most intriguing song of the batch. As it winds from section to section, the band seems to gain steam, building up for the record's groove-laden conclusion. Noisy, heavy and turbulent, it's the perfect ending for this record.
Bottom Line: Violent Life Violent Death play a brand of crushingly heavy hardcore that relies as much on songwriting as it does brutality. V-EP is a formidable debut and a record that leaves you wanting more from the band.
Track Listing: 01. Straight Teeth 02. Swollen Hearts 03. Silver Eyes 04. Shallow Veins 05. Sharp Suits