Staff Rating

4.75/5

User Rating

5/5

Black Breath - Sentenced To Life

Tapehead   (41 reviews)

Posted: 03/01/2012 | Comments: 7 | Rate:

The first few seconds of Black Breath’s Sentenced To Life play in waves of backwards revolution.

In 2010, Black Breath released their debut LP, Heavy Breathing, an enthralling combination of early 80s hardcore and vintage thrash metal that found modernized revitalization, the band’s fundamental understanding of sacred ground (or not so sacred in this case) built upon in a respectful and wildly powerful way. It’s likely Heavy Breathing eviscerated all the Nü Metal from every CD collection it took residence, its presence alone requiring suitable neighbors.

Their follow-up, Sentenced To Life, continues Black Breath’s progenitor-laden homage down to its sledgehammer-through-shattered-glass album cover, reconsidering not only the imagery tied to metal’s roots, but its legacy as well. To hear backwards rotations opening the album’s initial track, “Feast of the Damned,” you’re not only treated to metal’s rep as an Evangelically charged device of Satan’s testimony, but to an agenda that laughs in the face of hiding its message. Why not flaunt its Swaggart-taunting Devil lust? And why not be as quick and unbridled as possible?

Sentenced To Life is just under 33 minutes long, a relentless and intensely played ten songs’ worth of neck breaking wonderment that realizes amplified, riff-heavy strength down to its core. Quick to the point; no fucking around. Listening to Sentenced To Life you understand how thick with bullshit other bands and albums tend to be, masturbatory complexity propped up to pedestal heights raising its nose to spite the more simple song structures reliant on intense playing. Granted, there’s much to like about progressive bands and well-composed, well-performed music. But, there is something to be said about bands that can plug in and terrorize a room with a singular riff played to an exact level of loud intimidation and perfectly conveyed brutality.

From hardcore battery (“Sentenced To Life,” “Forced Into Possession”) to mid-tempo trucking (“Home of the Grave”) to eerie intros (“Endless Corpse,” “Of Flesh”), Black Breath provide an array of expected metal constructs while incorporating enough of their own personality to the music. Delivering on the promise of its first single, “Mother Abyss,” the slowest moments on the album transition to blast beats and havoc, songs like “Of Flesh” and “Doomed” excitedly direct.

“The Flame” slows things up considerably and maintains its stride, borrowing an idea or two from Dimebag’s arsenal. The album’s lengthiest offering winds up its last track, “Obey,” a section of tom beats opening up a dual kick drum charge beneath a smattering of amplified mud. Musically, the band takes the opportunity to inject some drama into their harmonizing, guitar strings singing themselves to rest after their preceding nine-song frenzy, taking one final breath before fading underneath a sheet of static.

Once it ends, the only thing you can really do is play it over and over. You have nothing else better to do, anyway.

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Comments
I have no legs!
27,235 Posts
9/M/PA
They've really upped the dosage of metal influence and Entombed influence on this. To quote our overlord:

Originally posted by: cbrickhouse

yeah yeah, blah blah boring/copycat comments

this is fucking awesome, and gets better every time i listen again




Bands like this I don't look for innovation, I look for how exciting of an album they write and this band does it in style.
vanilla gorilla
213,883 Posts
40/M/PA
love this album
sees air
15,543 Posts
66/M/NA
need to hear this
vanilla gorilla
213,883 Posts
40/M/PA
no one cares, raincloud
Best Nerd
9,174 Posts
38/M/PA
this band is fun to watch live...and since i can't see Dismember anymore, it's still pretty cool

not sure i'd buy any albums tho
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
Can't wait to check this out.
Audio Engineer
264 Posts
31/M/NJ
somebody send me a promo copy of this, i'm dying with anticipation

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