North Carolina’s Violent Life, Violent Death released an outstanding slab of metallic hardcore last month in Come, Heavy Breath. The six-track album is packed from wall to wall (of death) with stomping hardcore riffs, custom designed to open up pits and get busy throwing down. Both band and record wear their old-school hardcore and metalcore influences proudly on their sleeve but we thought we’d check in with the band to see exactly which beatdowns make them tick, and came away with a list of classic punk and metal records which all add up to the brutality VLVD are bringing you in 2018.

Zao – Where Blood & Fire Bring Rest (1998)

At first, this record was met with hesitation with it being so different from The Splinter Shards (1997) (which was amazing), but after several listens it became a go-to for years. The heaviness and darkness of it was so unique, and Dan’s voice became a staple in the scene. The album is solid from start to finish, but “Lies of Serpents” and “Ravage Ritual” definitely caught our attention as the heaviest hitting songs on the record, and in hardcore music at the time.

Every Time I Die – The Big Dirty (2007)

This band makes you want to drive 100mph down the highway while blaring their music with the windows down. [The Big Dirty] rocks so hard, it’s energy is contagious, and it’s got a hell of an attitude. It’s balls to the walls right off the bat with “No Son of Mine,”  and carries all the way through until the last note of “Imitation.” To us, this record was the first in which they finally perfected the dirty rock sound they started back with Hot Damn! (years before.

Hatebreed – Satisfaction is the Death of Desire (1997)

These guys write such driving songs, and on this album, they did it the best. They’re more on the simple side of things, yet the riffing and songs as a whole are so effective, and there’s never a dull moment. You can’t help but want to bang your head and sing along to every track. This might be one of the few albums out there where you can listen to it all the way through without ever wanting to skip a track.

Between the Buried and Me – Between the Buried and Me (2001)

This record changed everything when it came out. It’s innovat[ion] was paramount, as [it] showed the scene what boundaries could be pushed, with the musicianship to back it up. This album was just plain dumbfounding when it came out. These guys were always one of those bands that were so good that they make you want to give up on writing music. As soon as that lo-fi guitar comes in at around 11 seconds in the first song “More of Myself to Kill,” you’re in for a whirlwind of a beating. The way these guys were able to keep such strong momentum in their songwriting via different styles of metal/hardcore and music in general, was very inspirational to us as young musicians.

NOFX – Punk in Drublic (1994)

Nothing tops the punk rock beat. This album is pure energy packed into some of the catchiest melodies in the genre. Add Mike’s snotty sounding vocals on top of that for a legendary combination. As little kids, we were infatuated with this album, with it serving as a huge influence in the way we write music today. “Linoleum,” “Leave it Alone,” and “Don’t Call Me White,” will always be classics but “The Quass/Dying Degree” combo is one of the best hidden gems you’ll find in punk rock as far as we’re concerned—it’s so driving and heavy.

Come, Heavy Breath is out now. You can listen to and purchase the album, along with the band’s previous EP, via the Bandcamp player below.

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