Violation Wound – “Dying To Live, Living To Die” (Peaceville Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Legendary for his work with Death and Autopsy, multi instrumentalist Chris Reifert also has a plethora of other bands that he has placed his talents in, from the death metal of Abscess to the psychedelic rock of Painted Doll and finally, the punk rock of Violation Wound. Originally formed in 2013 releasing their self titled debut, it wasn’t until 2018’s “Man In Charge” that the band issued a sophomore, although in Reifert’s hectic life that’s hardly surprising at all. Still, they’ve followed up pretty quickly this time with “Dying To Live, Living To Die”, an 18 tracker that has punk rock shitting out of it, from old school influences like Misfits to the newer intensity of Zeke along with tons of classic Motorhead groove as summed up by the song ‘The Day Lemmy Died’. A power trio ‘..unafraid to lay the musical smackdown..’, Violation Wound, despite Reifert’s extreme reputation, actually rely less on that and instead on plenty of hooks, memorable lines and as mentioned, lots of catchy grooves to once again impress. Handling both vocal and guitar duties, Reifert dishes out the dirt and roars on ‘Guns!Guns!Guns!’ backed by the hammering rhythm of Joe Orterry’s bass and Matt O’Connell’s frantic drum work on fast but memorable ditties like ‘Follower’ with its twanging bass in perfection to the catchy riffs and rhyming lyrics, culminating in its shout out chorus and a screaming solo to boot – very metal indeed! On ‘Exorcism Of Ignorance’, a fast chopping piece mixing death thrash and punk, it’s actually the tempo changes into slower grooves that really bring this song out along with its masterful social commentary of ‘…the prophets in power are just pathetic….FUCK ‘EM!!’. Rocking in with Lemmy’s ghost is the hugely catchy Motor rocker of ‘Neighbourhood Psycho’ with its dirty rock n roll riffs and heavy bass not forgetting some cool, gruff vocals from Reifert completed by some Fast Eddie lead breaks. With the title track stylishly mixing in 70s punk melodies and more heavy metal soloing, ‘Last Pill In The Bottle’ is aptly dark and ominous in its tone, but equally strong with its Misfits groove adding to its instant lure, while the rhythm on ‘Insult Culture’ is overpowering in its beat as Reifert’s rhyming growls add to the overall ensnarement of your mind and soul. Hardcore fans will die for ‘Pick Up The Crumbs’ with its fast bass lines, relentless shout outs and Reifert’s calls to ‘stand up for yourself…you don’t have to take shit..and stop being an asshole’ while the fast n mean ‘Losers And Freaks’ is punk thrash at its best, both for its rhyming and screaming, but equally more hook laden, riff slicing guitar work as ‘Hostage’ shifts it into light speed once more bringing this highly enjoyable album to a close. If their gigs promise to be as energised as this, Violation Wound are definitely a band to go and see!