Of all of heavy musics myriad sub-genres and fleeting movements, the hellish underground scene which has recently spawned the likes of Nails, Trap Them et al is by some distance the most thrilling. Emerging from Seattle’s shadowy underbelly, Black Breath and their outrageously thrilling onslaught of thrash/punk intensity and death metal filth is as potently metallic a recipe as the bullet belt brigade could dream of (just check out the bands searing sophomore ‘Sentenced To Life’ as proof positive). There was always a certain whiff of ambition with the frantic quintet although, a enterprise which saw them constantly a couple of steps ahead of their peers:
‘Slaves Beyond Death’ revels in this endeavor, several nods toward the genres greats (‘Seed Of Cain’ recalls ‘Master Of Puppets’ era Metallica at their most ambitious) displaying a striking creative fertility between the bands signature skull shattering extremity. Indeed, with no track clocking in at under five minutes, there is a host of ideas here which veer from the blistering riff shifting turmoil of early Slayer (‘Pleasure, Pain, Disease’) closer ‘Chains Of The Afterlife‘s progressive pomp and trad-metal six string theatrics and the clattering Entombed-esque aggression of the title track, remaining always both ruthlessly destructive and shrewdly dynamic.
A rumbling, brutish ode to everything great about extreme music, Black Breath pull off the rather tricky feat of saluting their timeless predecessors, yet still sounding as vital and furious as any contemporary act you could wish to name. ‘Slaves Beyond Death’ jostles with the best for metal accomplishment of the year.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)