Of all the big releases, all the hyped-up metal records so many fans are eagerly awaiting, nothing will be able to match the flat-out metalness of Black Breath’s newest album Sentenced to Life.
Sentenced to Life is a bloody-fisted 32-minute-and-change rampager of an album, filled from end to end with ripping heavy metal. These songs so seamlessly channel the sounds of metal’s past, while delivering the speed and rage of the modern scene. It’s blackened-death-thrash with a shot of rock’n’roll adrenalin, caked in crust and sludge, but at the very core this is pure heavy metal. There are no frills, just raw music that forces your head to bang, throw up the horns and grip your invisible oranges.
And for those of you wondering how it sizes up to the band’s previous outputs, 2010’s Heavy Breathing and 2009’s Razor to Oblivion, you will not be disappointed; these songs scream with influences from Entombed and Motorhead, as well as acts like Napalm Death and Black Flag. This sounds, all things considered, like Black Breath, make no bones about it. But Sentenced to Life is faster and angrier than anything these Seattle musicians have put forth yet (thanks in part to producer — no surprise here — Kurt Ballou). Barring a few slower passages, and even a clean-guitar intro on the song “Endless Corpse” (below), the album throws you into a sonic pit of blood, fire, leather, steal, and hair, and doesn’t spit you out for 32 ear-shattering minutes.
Not only have Black Breath crafted another stellar album, but they did so without resorting to repeating or retreading over their previous releases or diminishing them, something that deserve praise. Now, just keep in mind, this doesn’t break any walls or reinvent the metal genre — but that’s not what Black Breath are about anyway. This album just rocks, and if you enjoy metal or heavy music at all, give this beast a listen. I’ll be linking a couple tracks off the album below, be sure to listen!
For fans of: Kvelertak; Entombed; Repulsion; Trap Them; Exodus