Sentenced To Life
Review by Brad on February 24, 2012.
I must say it has been quite some time since an album appealed to me in the first 30 seconds. Right from the start Seattle’s Black Breath new album "Sentenced To Life" explodes with sinisterly heavy guitar tones and equally matching drums. 'Feast Of The Damned' is quick and to the point; a great set-up for the rest of the album. The album is very Thrash oriented especially in the vocal delivery; very aggressive, but not holding back or afraid of melody and strong hooks with the Meshuggah style gang vocals used in the chorus. At some points they borrow the classic ride cymbal and down picking riffs of the masters Slayer, which is always a great way to get the head banging. 'Home Of The Grave' is another stand-out track on "Sentenced To Life". With a solid tempo, it just beats you up for three and a half minutes. It ironically reminds me a lot of good old Grave tunes. 'Obey' gradually builds up with double picked 5th notes and then slams into heavy, heavy down tuned sludge at parts. It leaves the listener always surprised with a fresh feeling especially when the Swedish inspired solo kicks in. It ends the album on an extremely solid note and makes you ready to play it all over again.
The production on "Sentenced To Life" is tight and the music is benefited quite well from it. The guitars are thick and gritty. The drums and bass are as tight as a tick, and the vocals couldn’t fit any better. The album clocks in right around 33 minutes with 10 tracks, and there is not a single dull moment in that time period. I would have to say Black Breath’s new album will strongly appeal to fans of Grave, Slayer, and Carcass.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Review by Adam M on February 19, 2012.
This is a pleasant early year surprise. Having heard small portions of their debut album and enjoying them somewhat, I was amazed at the quality of this second release. There is a punishing vibe with massive quality riffs throughout each song and a crushing production job. This is exactly what a more modern version of the classic Entombed releases should sound like.
The band also incorporates a Punk vibe into their sound as well to make their sound edgy and pure. There are few downsides to the album as a whole because it only loses intensity from time to time. The last couple of songs 'The Flame' and 'Obey' offer an exciting conclusion to the proceedings. There is little energy and ferocity lost throughout the length of the album, however as things remain frantic overall. An interesting religious element props up from time to time add another dimension to the band’s sound. If the band continues to improve in a similar manner, there could be very compelling prospects for them in the future.
The absolute crunch of this album is actually sort of akin to what Vomitory has been doing recently, but there is more of a Punk flair with this band. These two outfits could be the purveyors of the sound developed by Entombed and Dismember early in the nineties for the present. I’m very surprised at the quality of this album and how well-constructed it is. While not a masterpiece, it should go on to be one of the stronger releases of the year 2012. "Sentenced To Life" comes highly recommended for fans of the bands previously mentioned in this review and those who liked the band’s debut effort.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.7 out of 10