Tuesday Teardown: Black Breath – Sentenced to Life May 8, 2012

“Home of the Grave”

If I could sum up Black Breath‘s newest album up with one word, it’d be “Entombedcore”. Since their debut LP, Heavy Breathing, the Seattle band has really come into their own. Mixing hardcore, thrash and death metal, their newest release Sentenced to Life on Southern Lord really solidifies the band’s sound.

You know how a pair of leather gloves take a little to wear in and form to your hand? That’s how I look at Black Breath over the past few years. It’s like they finally broke in that tough, black leather and the end product is an audio assault. I’ve been listening to the vinyl of the album since it was released and am in love. To be honest, I can’t think of a better Tuesday Teardown at the moment, so read on!

“Feast of The Damned”

If you needed any reasoning why I used the Entombed reference, just drop the needle on “Feast of the Damned”. It plays just like “Chaos Breed” off their “Clandestine” LP and it doesn’t stop there. More blast beats and razor-sharp picking are on the way in “Sentenced To Life”. The assault has begun and it’s not letting down. Black Breath drops the fucking hammer here. Just try to sit still.

When I’m listening to this album, I can’t help but think of the Juggernaut running through walls, one after the other. “Forced Into Possession” is like something out of late 80’s Floridian OSDM school but there’s something more wicked and composed about it. The lyrics, the rise and fall of the percussion and the onslaught of cymbals crashing, all in such a cold and almost mechanical manner. It’s a fucking workout to just sit through this track.

“Endless Corpse”

“Home Of The Grave” is definitely the most radio-friendly track, so the above video doesn’t surprise me at all. Here’s where Heavy Breathing‘s sound comes back, for vengeance. Finally, we get some breathing room with “Endless Corpse”, and it’s more OSDM than thrash or hardcore. In fact, I find myself drawn to this track moreso than others on the album. There’s something sinister about it. Like a ballad for executions. Black Breath has slipped on the hood for this one and the ax isn’t stopping once it’s swung. Crank this fucker up just as the break drops!

And boy, it doesn’t stop. Blast beasts galore! “Mother Abyss” is a gritty, dirty feast. The vocals sound like they’re cranked up a few notches and it’s a perfect lead in for “Of Flesh”. Possessed anyone? Wait, now “Doomed” sounds like some old Youth of Today. I hate dropping these references but Black Breath’s sound is so familiar and yet so entirely different than anything else out there. “The Flame” and “Obey” ends out Sentenced to Life with a commanding drum line and menacing layer of reverb.

No one touches these guys. I don’t even think Black Cobra comes close to fucking with these Seattle shredders. Not to mention their live show destroys all and by all means, pick up this vinyl. The red and black-colored vinyl is only $14 and you can pick up a matching shirt with the vinyl for $25 at Southern Lord. Why download when you can get this shit for that cheap? Support these guys and their OSDM thrashcore sound!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bertbikes Sam Ebert

    I must say that you are an excellent music reviewer. To the core, not pretentious, not layman’s terms. Also, your top 10 was a dope list. Please keep this site rolling, its finals week over here for me, and this is exactly the procrasturbation I need. Thanks John!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wade.stevens Wade Stevens

    awesome album

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Davey-Tacos/100003163509414 Davey Tacos

    I agree with Sam. Good stuff. Check out Kvelertak some time…different than these guys but I saw them with Skeletonwitch and it was a great show..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmhVKq-vUMs

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I fucking hate Kvelertak

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Davey-Tacos/100003163509414 Davey Tacos

         oh well

        • http://theradavist.com John Watson

          Hahaha sorry touchy subject!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Davey-Tacos/100003163509414 Davey Tacos

            Not a big deal man.

  • Marcusdestroy

    I still think Razor to Oblivion is the best thing Black Breath ever put out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tuckman226 Tucker Cullum

    cool track

  • John Hennessy

    Its good in a funny way, entombed without nicke Anderson sort of good! John you should check out nicke’s new metal band. DEATH BREATH!!!!!!!