Rating:
8.0
Black Breath - Sentenced To Life
2012


01. Feast Of The Damned
02. Sentenced To Life
03. Forced Into Possession
04. Home Of The Grave
05. Endless Corpse
06. Mother Abyss
07. Of Flesh
08. Doomed
09. The Flame
10. Obey


Black Breath are a relatively young band hailing from Bellingham, Washington, USA. At first glance it may seem that they are just another band trying to bring back the 80's (in this case, late 80's American death metal). The band members' looks and the lyrical content of the reviewed CD are quite deceiving, though. Of course, there is a healthy dose of death metal on Sentenced to Life, but it is mixed with a great portion of hardcore punk. And I must admit that this combination works perfectly for Black Breath.

As you might have figured out reading the introduction, I was one of these guys that expected nothing but straight old school death metal. Even the first several seconds of the opener "Feast of the Damned" are a nod to the classic intro to "Immortal Rites" by you-know-who. What's more, these guys use the same exact guitar effect that made the Sunlight Studios sound so famous. However, the riffs are mostly supported by frantic, typically hardcore punk-like drumming. Does it work well? You bet! Sentenced to Life is the most energetic, ass-kicking and fresh sounding (even though the inspirations are quite easy to guess) record I've heard in a while.

Another thing is that Black Breath realize is that even the most maniacal pounding can get boring after some time, so they decided to make their record more complex than the death/hardcore (now this is the type of stuff that should be called deathcore!) tag would suggest. From death/doom riffing of "Obey" to really groovy "Home of the Grave" to exquisite melodic guitar lines of "Endless Corpse" - the band show skill both in the matter of songwriting and handling their instruments.

So what would make a perfect summary for the review of Black Breath's sophomore effort? Go listen to this fucking album! If you dig heaviness, aggression and filth in music (and if you're reading these words I'm pretty sure you do) do not hesitate and give this album a spin. Or two. Well, maybe 20, just to let the riffs drill in your head and taint your psyche.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 6


 


written by s7mon | 07.12.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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BitterCOld - 07.12.2012 at 21:26  
Really enjoyed the album. was going to staff pick it, but wormy got there first. was going to review it but real life gave me a big middle finger.

thanks for drawing attention to a worthy album.

one snipe - Production might not be great, but it definitely fits the vibe. i wouldn't penalize a band for going with the production quality that best fits their music. one of the things that turns me off about a lot of modern DM is how clean it sounds. the production on this is a chunk of what made me buy in.
Mr. Doctor - 07.12.2012 at 21:38  
Nice review and I agree with it... but just as Craig commented I find nothing bad about the production at all. It fits the album nicely which is the point. Man the opener of this album is such a sick way to start the party and break shit. Remember when I saw them live supporting Nasum... "Intense" is an understatement.
!J.O.O.E.! - 08.12.2012 at 00:07  
Good review. I enjoy this album but it's not as amazing as many would attest to, just a good solid album, so well done for not overhyping it.

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