Black Breath: Sentenced to Life

I first heard about this band through a podcast that I listen to and still subscribe to. The two men on this particular podcast are both music journalists working for a magazine focused on highlighting heavy metal music. They kept banging on about how good this band were and so I finally decided to check them out…and they weren’t kidding, Combining crossover thrash music with a hardcore punk sensibility Black Breath are really a band like no other. Sentenced to Life marks the bands second studio album (plus a debut EP) in what will hopefully be a long and vicious career.

Sentenced to Life is a thirty minute, bang-your-head-like-no-other, torrent of a record, harking back to the days when Entombed and Slayer ruled the world. “Feast of the Damned” has a drum part resembling that of Slayer’s very own “Criminally Insane”. There’s so much metal packed into this record and yet it is released with a hardcore delivery like a pack of wild dogs trying to maul you limb from limb. The guitars are like a buzz saw mercilessly ripping through your flesh, while the drums pound your heart into the ground and then stomp on it again for good measure even after the album is done.

When Heavy Breathing first came out in 2010, I thought the band had really made a name for themselves with some of the sickest riffs of the year on that record. That album was a bit more groovy and dare I say, rock and roll. This album is just vicious in every sense of the word. The songs are shorter, it’s a bit more hardcore, and the whiplash that this record will give you will last the rest of the week. The band really only has one goal when it comes to this album and that is destroy every living thing in it’s path with its tornado of terror. Some stand out tacks to me on this record were “Sentenced to Life”, “Endless Corpse”, and “Obey”, which has one of the sickest twin guitar solos I’ve ever heard.

Just like the new Meshuggah record, there isn’t a dull moment on this record at all. In fact, the only dull moments were the spaces in between songs. I can only imagine how utterly insane the band are in a liver arena. If you ever get the chance, you better see this band play live. I’m sure they’ll absolutely slay it.

Luke Helker

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