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Review: Black Breath - Sentenced to Life
Black Breath
Sentenced to Life

Label: Southern Lord
Year released: 2012
Duration: 32:42
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 31, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Sentenced to Life

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (12 Votes)

This isn't normally the type of release I'd expect from Southern Lord, and all I can say is fuck. Yes. This is just about as mean as you get, absolutely furious Swedish-styled death metal dripping with influence as diverse as first wave black metal all the way over to hardcore and cross-over thrash. Whilst this could put off genre purists, I can assure you that if you're looking for some hard and heavy aggressive, thrashing death metal Black Breath deliver the goods like a knuckle-duster wielding Mike Tyson punch to the face.

Reminding me of country mates Repugnant who I fucking love, as well as Dismember, Entombed, and of course copious amounts of all our first wave favorites à la Celtic Frost, and so on so forth, Black Breath really do boast an almost overtly aggressive sound. The vocals help this, and whilst they could be a prospective sore point, the vitriolic almost hoarse shouting which sounds a cross between the more throaty growls of old school Swedish death metal singers such as Matti Kärki, and the shouting style common of some hardcore acts is absolutely perfect for the music offered upon Sentenced to Life.

The production is ideal here, with the guitars have that Swedish buzz-saw guitar sound that you can't help but love, and the drums sound natural, really smashing through your speakers. Couple this with a bass sound measuring on the Richter scale; a recipe for pure destruction is formed. Black Breath also treat us to a nice variety of sounds across the album's admittedly short run time. We have tracks such as the pugilistic madness of "Mother Abyss" to the doom of "Endless Corpse", as well as the straight up Swedish death metal styling of the title track.

Black Breath really deliver the goods upon Sentenced to Life and fans of the more violent strains of thrash, and obviously old school Swedish death metal need this. Hell, this boasts suitable crossover appeal to fans of crust too, definitely some crusty vibes going on here. This is the kind of album you headbang to from start to finish, and I shudder to think how much destruction these psychopaths could create live. Without a doubt one of my absolute favorites this year, Black Breath seriously fucking slay, and I really wasn't expecting it. If you like your metal hard, heavy, raw, fast, vicious, and dripping with fucking acid then get this now. Now if you excuse me, I'm off to scrape my face from the floor.

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