Release Date: Sep 25, 2015
Record label: Southern Lord Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
These Washington state cats must’ve spent some long after school sessions listening to good ol’ underground records from days of yore: the kind of dark, depraved and sonically solid darkness that bands in the late-1980s and early-1990s whipped up, back when underground metal was in its prime and it seemed like people were only too hungry for the next subterranean dwellers to unleash something unique. You know, you remember when bands all sounded a little different. The dudes from Black Breath knew that and apparently remember—or at least their DNA does.
Hardcore can come in many forms — sometimes it can sound almost happy, upbeat and positive; it can discuss social issues; it can be blistering and lighting-fast; and occasionally, it can be dark, brutal and brooding, with a blackened tinge. Black Breath definitely fall into the latter category, and their third release, Slaves Beyond Death, perfectly captures their gnarly and expressive sound. Hailing from Seattle, and carrying with them the dark and gloomy sound that has become typical of that city's bands, Black Breath do a great job of incorporating doomy and black metal influences, as well as some gut-wrenching death metal growls, into their music.
Seattle’s Black Breath have apparently been making a big splash in the old metal world for a little while now and I can’t imagine that third album Slaves Beyond Death will do anything but increase said splashing. For all the talk in the press release about brutality and ferociousness (of which, don’t get me wrong, there is plenty on this album) it turns out there’s more to Black Breath than heaviness for its own sake. A potential pitfall for this kind of music is that too much unrelenting, crushing heaviness can get a bit overwhelming, and one can become numbed to the onslaught.