Thursday, September 10, 2015

Black Breath : Slaves From Beyond Death"

Didn't get to catch these guys when they came through town with Goatwhore. From Seattle the blur the genre lines falling closest to death metal, though healthy doses of thrash stain some of the riffs. It tool me until the second song which is also the title track to figure out the band they are most influenced by is Entombed. They begin tripping over themselves when they try racing through the song and lose the sense of groove that makes them stand out from everyone else. They do possess a keen sense of riffing and come up with some nasty and tasty ones , but cool riffs alone don't make a good song is the rule around here. By "Reaping Flesh" what they do is very clear to the point that the songs begin to sound the same to me. So the melodic intro to "Seed of Cain " is much needed. Though it speeds up into a rather formless thrashing that reminds me a little of Unleashed's less viking moments. This is reigned into a pretty skull crushing riff that commands head banging as they chant the song's title.

Clearly when it comes to the focus of the songs the guitar players are running the show around here. "Arc of Violence" things slow down and allow them to hit a vicious groove. They stay on this course for  " A Place of Insane Cruelty" , perhaps even more so as the syncopation becomes more prominent.  It starts with a marching snare beat that guitar  harmonies begin to slither around before the big 80s like riff kicks in that recalls S.O.D in a mosh pit with Celtic Frost. After some impressive build up "Burning Hate" in contrast feels rather rushed and that attention to detail was thrown out the window. The very straight punk attack on the snare dumbs the song down. They close out the album on a much needed more melodic note with a guitar intro to " Chains of the Afterlife" that sounds like it could have come right off "Master of Puppets". That is a Metallic influence worth having. By the three minute mark I am beginning to think that this is an instrumental. It keeps building up to the big chords of what could be a verse if the guitar solos were replaced by vocals that never come.

Overall these guys are good at what they with riffs that have plenty of teeth. Not only to they have bit but they know how to use it. I think the more thrashing grooves are where they really hit their sweet spot and hopefully they move more in that direction in the future, but this album is enjoyable, if you like Goatwhore more thrash moments or just simply miss big nasty rifs from bands like Meliah Rage, then you won't want to miss these guys , I'll give it an 8.5 , when I was in middle school I would have given it closer to a 10. This album comes out Sept. 25th on Southern Lord.

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