Black Breath Slaves Beyond Death on 2LP
Third LP Slaves Beyond Death arrives three years after Black Breath's 2012 effort Sentenced To Life, a revered album of morbid metal anthems laced with a deadly allure that few could resist. A foul den of thrashing potency, reanimated hardcore muscle and icy death metal, it's a record that partly sets the tone for this nefarious third chapter of the band, but it's safe to say that Slaves Beyond Death represents a harder, bleaker Black Breath than ever before.
Recorded in the Winter months of 2014 at GodCity studio in Salem, MA with Kurt Ballou (Converge), Slaves Beyond Death delivers the best part of an hour of stern, unforgiving death metal that resonates with the absolute classics of the genre. The Seattle five-piece is entirely relentless in their intensity, presenting innumerable ferocious riffs across the eight songs, with wicked inventiveness at the heart of its might. Galloping, triumphant melodies reminiscent of Sweden lead in to grueling slammers that unravel at a torturer's pace, while the rasping death-rattles from vocalist Neil McAdams paint a vivid picture of unending suffering in life and beyond the grave.
Devoid of self-serving technicality and bombast, Slaves Beyond Death works torrents of scorn in to lively, undeniably entertaining songwriting, an enviable quality that has been present in all of Black Breath's material, and is certainly still the case now. With all of the tracks breaching the five-minute mark at least, and a storming crusade of an instrumental closer, Black Breath is taking big strides forward with this album, and it is sure to be one of the highlights of the musical underworld in 2015.
Slaves Beyond Death's artwork was painted by Italy's Paolo Girardi, who most recently created stunning covers for Inquisition, Manilla Road and Bell Witch, and Southern Lord is once again the proud record label behind this monumental release.