Saturday, May 5, 2012

endless corpse

New LP from current Southern Lord hype beast Black Breath, their "Sentenced To Life" LP on black vinyl. I've posted fondly a number of times about this band in the past, this time around though I've been a little more hesitant to come to the party, in part due just to the amount of sheer excitement generated around this release. It's been a little off putting.

As has been well documented by a number of other online sources since this records initial release around six weeks ago, the band have managed to produce a pretty rounded and well executed piece of early 90's styled Swedish Death Metal here. "Sentenced To Life" takes massive cues from later Dismember and "Clandestine" era Entombed. Over the course of their career they've made a relatively gradual progression from somewhat rocky, Motorhead inspired metal/punk to what they're doing now. It's a logical graduation and seems to work well.

A very on-point recording by Kurt Ballou certainly gives this thing a good portion of power. The band now fully embrace the classic Sunlight Studio buzz saw guitar sound that seems so popular amongst a heap of current punk orientated metal bands currently and Kurt has really exploited the approach here. In my opinion it's virtually cardinal sin to not be a Northern European band and tune your axe to this sound, but they seem to manage it so well here that they score a reprieve. For the most part the songs on offer tread a much more streamlined path, more focused on pure Death Metal riffery and less of the larger rounded sounding stuff. A heap of the songs barley exceed the three minute mark too which differs somewhat from previous material resulting in a more listenable experience for those with attention spans that have been forever ruined by hardcore punk. My only gripe really with this band (as I have mentioned in the past too) is the singers comparatively weak vocals when paired with the wall of sound that is the music. Metal like this needs a guttural sounding, acid gargling mad man up front where this guys pipes sound like they would obviously work better fronting some kind of generic fast hardcore band. That's not to say that he does a bad job, but I'm just so used to hearing the deep end of someone like LG Petrov when listening to tunes of this ilk. A small gripe.

Certainly the bands best work so far.

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