Released: 2008, Mediaskare/Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Up until recently, the first thoughts that came to mind with Arizona were intense heat, old people and golf however there seems to be a bit of noise being made by brutal metal bands calling that state home. Job For A Cowboy took the scene by storm and now Tucson’s A Breath Before Surfacing has emerged hoping for the same notoriety. Unfortunately, the band’s mix of Black Dahlia Murder-inspired melodic death blends with about a thousand others who are pushing metalcore’s tired, wheezing corpse sounds completely generic and completely faceless in the sea of others hoping for the same thing. DEATH IS SWALLOWED IN VICTORY is not a bad album by any means but it certainly lacks any identity of its own and is forgotten almost immediately.
In naming the first song “Summoning The Lord of The Pit,” I have to give the guys credit for luring me in. They do manage to do some nifty tempo changes on “Ray Road” and guitarists Scott Whisenant and Jacob Green throw down some cool riffs and a great solo on “Cosmetic Abomination.” “Looking Into The Sun Without Going Blind” and “Trainwreck” will get the pits moving but amidst the neverending breakdowns, blastbeats and show-offy guitar runs, what fails to emerge are good songs. Yeah, these guys seem to be able to play well enough but as far as any memorable song structure, melodies or…well, anything for the listener to grab into, it just isn’t there.
One can’t fault A Breath Before Surfacing for at least taking a stab at this crazy world of metal. DEATH IS SWALLOWED IN VICTORY is their debut and maybe they’ll reorganize and get things on track for their next record but as far as establishing themselves as an act worthy of laying down the almighty dollar for, fans will find a lot better out elsewhere.
KILLER KUTS: “Ray Road,” “Cosmetic Abomination,” “Looking Into The Sun Without Going Blind,” “Trainwreck”