Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced To Life

Southern Lord clearly wanted to start 2012 off strong. Thus they decided to unleash Black Breath's new crustcore beast Sentenced To Life onto unsuspecting fans of punk and metal alike.

Sentenced To Life. The album has a very Entombed-esque ring to the title, and the ultra-recognizable Sunlight Studio sound is certainly present on here. Like a buzzsaw through cranial plating, the guitar tone on here is crunchy, distorted, and all around heavy. In fact this is probably the most heavy crustcore album I've heard in a long time. The obvious Swedish death metal influences are probably enough to make it qualify for that award.

The whole album feels as relentless as it is heavy. Your only salvation comes in the form of "Endless Corpse" which is a plodding, horror-influenced track. The rest of Sentenced To Life is high octane aggression, especially the more crusty tracks like "Mother Abyss," the title track, and "Forced Into Possession." These tracks are pure unbridled fury and the mix of the two styles makes them feel that much more pissed off. Not in a negative way mind you but in a positive, energetic way. The album embodies this aspect really well for that reason.

The production is obviously dense and electrifyingly addictive. The distortion is great and the d-beats echo appropriately. The mixing is pretty solid as well, but I honestly wish the bass was a bit more present. It's there but buried underneath the buzzsawing guitar. It manages to make an appearance on "Of Flesh" which oddly sports a blastbeat as well. Sentenced To Life otherwise is a pretty solid exercise in crusty d-beat death that is at this point the strongest crust release of 2012.

8.0 out of 10


1. Feast of The Damned
2. Sentenced to Life
3. Forced Into Possession
4.  Home of the Grave
5.  Endless Corpse
6.  Mother Abyss
7.  Of Flesh
8.  Doomed
9.  The Flame
10.  Obey

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