Published Sep 23, 2015Hardcore 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. This album has some seriously catchy and killer tracks: "Reaping Flesh" is a cool mix of the slow and plodding and the dark and aggressive, and "Burning Hate" is extremely catchy, perhaps the release's best.
As almost every metal band coming out these days is incorporating moody, black-metal influence into their music, Black Breath don't quite stand out like they used to, so while this is still a very solid album, the band would have been wise to perhaps make a louder, more out-there statement in order to establish themselves as leaders of the genre.
Still, fans of the band and those who enjoy dark and brutal doom will certainly like this record. (Southern Lord)