Black Breath // Sentenced to Life
Rating: 5.0/5.0 —Crunch, crunch, crustily good!
Label: Southern Lord
Websites: myspace
Release Dates: Out now!

Take a wham! Bam! Pow! Sok! Crunch! Ka-pow! Thoom! And a Krrrrrak! Listening to this record is like getting beaten senseless by a punkish dominatrix. Every song flies by with a kind of sadistic glee only found in those Marvel comics starring Deadpool, and if you don’t know what Marvel or Deadpool is, I guess another apt analogy would be like sprinkling holy water everywhere at an undead homosexual wrestling pit. Also, since we’re on the topic of Marvel and Deadpool, doesn’t that hammer-carrying punk in the oh-so-subtle album art seem to be trying to break the fourth wall to get at your teeth and all things that can be broken?

Black Breath’s name may bring to mind the unsightly wisps of mephitic breath leaving your mouth in the quintessential early morning yawn, but it is quite an apt name for an abrasive Stockholm-death-metal-worshipping hardcore punk outfit like them; because frankly, I can think of no other force of nature powerful enough to knock a dog-elephant hybrid off its jumbo-sized furry feet. In extreme musical terms, it would be like standing in front of gigantic speakers and getting terRIFFied by the sheer power of the muthafornicatin’ riff.

Everything you can love about a catchy hardcore punk outfit can be heard in here: groovy riffs, mid-paced breakdowns, hooligan group shouts, neck-breaking tempo and all. But after the raging sonic stampede of angry jackasses has passed and the dust has settled, a trail of Entombed footprints can be found amidst the obvious hardcore elements. Title track “Sentenced To Life” features a motif towards the end that reminds one of Hatebreed, while “Home Of The Grave” features an aptly punctuated series of bulldozing grooves that is a pure Entombed tribute to their Left Hand Path era. The classic Stockholm chainsaw buzz sound pioneered by the legendary Swedish death metal group is the most noticeable and gratifying aspect of this record, but of course, since the music is so furious, fast and catchy as hell too, it has not been used in vain. Entombed’s (old) reputation is thankfully preserved and perhaps even glorified.

Sludgy openings to tracks like “Endless Corpse” and “Of Flesh” are a nice breather from the frequent, furious onslaught of Entombed-flavored hardcore punk noise, and are brilliantly not overdone to the point of ruining the whole fast-paced feel of this record. The lyrics are pretty unique too, for instead of dealing with political subject matter, Black Breath touches on really death metal stuff like death (duh) and occultic stuff (as evident from track titles like “Mother Abyss”).

If you recently lost your Entombed and hardcore punk collection to your spring-cleaning grandmother, scrap that idea about digging in the rubbish dump like a vagrant. Get this record instead—it gives you the best of both worlds and saves space too!

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  • like repulsion?  

  • When these guys give a 5 rate. Look for that right away!

  • Stasia98

    No new epic album review? It’s not death metal but still I sign in to this site every day looking for a review.

    • What do you mean by “epic album review”?

      • Stasia98

        Sorry I meant the band epica, symphonic metal bands latest album

    • Yeah. Epica. Man. That band. Their new record is really bad, IMO. Maybe I should write a review of it. 

  • swlong

    I’m still fairly new to metal but I’m loving this website and the bands it’s leading me to.  Lots of epic stuff I’ve never heard before, thanks for these reviews! 

    • Thanks for the kind words and your readership. Maybe this link will help:

    • Welcome to the wonderful world of metal. Im 34 and have been listening since my early teens. One of the best parts about “metal” is how massively elaborate it is. Outsiders see metal as a small genre occupied only be Metallica, Pantera, and a few other bands. Once you really get into how much there is to listen to, and how complex and varied it can be, you will be amazed at what you discover.

      As for the descriptions of the subgenres, the Wikipedia link that Steel Druhm posted is probably the best starting point, but a word of warning. The more you read about the subgenres, the more confused you will be. Most people cant agree which bands belong to which labels, and many bands will have albums that cross several boundaries on the same albums, or within their careers (e.g. Anathema).

      Generalizing the different types of metal, theres really only two you should be concerned about. The metal you like and the metal you havent heard yet! :) Explore and enjoy! You are in for a treat! :)

  • I sincerely hope you didn’t used the mark of perfection in vain, cos you sir  have hyped me with this review. I liked their first opus very much, gonna have to pick this one up.

  • WTF is this shit? We do a really diverse set of different shit, IMO. These fucking people.

    • We love you guys, keep the good fight.

    • Stasia98

      Yeah it got many positive reviews but a different take could be good. You review a great and diverse range of metal here and whenever I feel like discovering some quality new metal that’s a bit different or not so well know I look here. Or if I just want to see a take on a mainstream metal release that’s often going to be a bit different. I like the fact your reviews are honest opinions and food for thought reviews.

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