Review: Violent Life Violent Death – Sadness Rains

There aren’t many bands around at the moment that excite me more than Violent Life Violent Death.

There also aren’t many bands more in tune with their own sound. VLVD describe their outputs as “fight riffs” because they make you want to kick someone’s skull in. Who doesn’t need to listen to that?

Sadness Rains is the third EP from the Charlotte, NC monsters and it continues along the path set by the first two: meaty, metallic, riffy hardcore that sounds huge and polished and utterly fucking horrible.

Its 16 minutes are a furious burst rather than an expansive exploration of ideas, but these five songs are colossal.

The second, ‘Love Is Violet’, edges the opener by virtue of a sliver of patience that hints at more measured futures, but its highlight is the gorgeous groove pocket it finds around the two-minute mark.

The title track (the video below comes with an epilepsy warning, kids) begins in a similar vein and continues to weave VLVD’s subtle gothic undertones through their infectious hardcore stomp.

‘Hissing Tongue’ is a bottlerocket of a song and closer ‘Pray’ ensures that the standard remains high across the whole of Sadness Rains, short though it is.

There’s no blueprint to tell Violent Life Violent Death where to go next. They don’t strike me as the kind of band that would follow it anyway.

What has been proved time and again lately is that bands from VLVD’s world – probably including some who weren’t as good as this in their early days – are creating truly special art not by restricting their ideas, but by embracing them.

With this crunch, this fire, these riffs, Violent Life Violent Death have enormous potential. If they can somehow marry that core spirit to something genuinely new they could be unstoppable.

Sadness Rains is out now on Innerstrength Records.

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Chris Nee