Black Breath
Sentenced Life

It’s amazing to me that the band that left me relatively unimpressed with their debut EP Razor to Oblivion, then fired back with one of 2010s most critically acclaimed albums, Heavy Breathing and now followed that up with one of 2012s best releases, Sentenced to Life. Not only that, the band seemed to have really been a catalyst for a long underground style of crust/death metal/hardcore inspired by Entombed, bringing  it to the front of the fray and making it one of Southern Lord’s new, focal sounds with the likes of Nails, Sarabante, Acephalix, Dead in the Dirt, All Pigs Must Die, Planks and Alpinist replacing doom as the labels premier sound.

And so, you could say that expectations for Sentenced to Life are pretty high for a relatively young band, but Black Breath have followed through with a 33 minute bludgeoning that’s as good as the the debut.

Continuing the even more increased, heavy Wolverine Blues/Clandestine era Entombed influence (vocalist Neil McAdams really channels LG Petrov) mixed with hardcore and crust and given a superb, beefy mid range buzz by Kurt Ballou and Alan Douches, Sentenced to Life is simply a rollicking album with ample amounts of thick groove sand urgent d beat bursts. And its all wrapped up in a death ”n roll rumble and sneer that modern Entombed wish they could muster up now. The album’s brevity is perfect as the albums 10 tracks are direct and perfectly placed within the frame work of the album. You get the fade in of  “Feast of the Damned”, a pure Wolverine Blues/Clandestine worshiping track that bleeds into the fierce crusty title track. But then “Forced into Possession” reverts back to a truly impressive Entombed-ish track but with more energy,  fire and primal ferocity.

But despite all the album’s early bluster, its the albums slower, more patient tracks that make the album much more of an awesome listen. Starting with “Home of the Grave”, and its cool but short lived groove at 2;10. Then you’ve got what appears to be Black Breath‘s homage to “Left Hand Path” with “Endless Corpse”, though I may over analyzing it a bit, but let me think that’s what it is OK? What there is no denying though, is that after a few more nicely ferocious tracks like “Mother Abyss” (“Shreds of Flesh” anyone?) and “Doomed”,  Black Breath deliver arguably their finest hour in the from of the two last track “The Flame”  and 5 minute closer “Obey”.

Now, I may have been imagining or forcing the Entombed influence up until now, but these two slow burning groovers would make Nicke Andersson and Uffe Cederlund think “wow- this shit if fucking good, at least our legacy is in good hands seeing as we fucked it all up….”. But I digress, “Obey”, though is simply fucking awesome rolling menacing thick builds with rumbling riffs and a to die for moody closeout into a stunning end note. It doesn’t just cement the fact Black Breath are the most confident and complete  band at this style right now, it fucking hammers it home with a sledge hammer and a 9 inch nail.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 19th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: thisblacksession

    You mean All Pigs Must Die, yeah? I can’t seem to find anything on All Must Must Die. :D

    Jokes aside, this is a killer review, and this is definitely something I need to pick up.


  2. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    This album is not that impressive on first listen, but it worms its way into you. Now I can’t stop listening to it.


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