Released: 2010, Southern Lord
Seattle Washington’s Black Breath has been tapped as one of the up & coming metal bands of the year. Signed to a great label (Southern Lord), and carrying al the requisite buzz, you would think that the band would soon be the next Hot Topic t-shirt wonders. Thankfully, the fellas are having none of THAT – being fully equipped with one rip roaring album in HEAVY BREATHING that will send the trendies running for cover.
Why the buzz? Well, Black Breath is one of those bands that meld a ton of different sub genres together into their own sound. The thing is, unlike most touted bands that do this, Black Breath actually makes it work! They take a base of hardcore and add in liberal elements of Swedish death metal, crust, and a heaping does of rollicking Motorheadisms and spit out HEAVY BREATHING. Vocalist Neil McAdams’ is clearly a hardcore-styled shouter, but his vocal chords are shredded overtop a very Sunlight Studios-sounding album. The second “Black Sin (Spit on the Cross)” begins, the trademark dirty chainsaw sound of all those great Swedish death bands of yesteryear fills your ears, and doesn’t let up until the album ends. Yes, most of the sounds are firmly embedded in hardcore, but the freight train style of “Children of the Horn” evokes the most ACE OF SPADES-ish Motorhead you can imagine, while “Escape from Death” and “Fallen” could be lost Entombed songs.
What makes HEAVY BREATHING work is that the band manages to make a cohesive sound out of their disparate influences. It’s not like one song is hardcore, the next death metal, and the next death ‘n roll – it’s all Black Breath. More importantly, the album is just goddamned fun to listen to. I will definitely welcome more from these guys – check ‘em out!