April 28, 2010 | , | 4

Black Breath, Heavy Breathing

Black Breath: Heavy Breathing

I am a big fan of Black Breath‘s debut EP, Razor to Oblivion — it’s raw, grimy thrash is infectious and raucous. Well, this time around, for their first proper full-length, the band builds on that energizing brand of thrash with a little Entombed-esque death n’ roll.

With Kurt Ballou at the helm of Heavy Breathing, the band has brought in elements from all over Entombed’s discography: big, dark riffs from the Stranger Aeons EP (one of my favorite releases of all time, by the way), the thundering groove of Wolverine Blues and even some of the more traditional sounds of Clandestine. That all said, however, the band keeps the album’s sound all there own, only incorporating key items from outside influences and never relying on any of them as a crutch.

Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with riotous, death-metal-injected thrash that carries a guitar tone very similar to the legendary Swedes. It’s a recipe for constant rotation in my stereo, that’s for sure.

Black Sin (Spit On the Cross)
When I first received a copy of this promo, I was told to first and foremost check out this song. And dude was right, this is a full throttle ripper. From the opening, evil riffs to the thundering drums to the blasphemous lyrics (as cheesy as they may come across at times), the song is a winner. The vocals remain energetic and active through a mid-range gruff shout. There’s a bit of that Entombed sound here and there, but it’s incorporated smoothly.

Eat the Witch
There’s a massive groove to “Eat the Witch” that’s chock full of head banging fun. The thicker-than-thick guitars churn right along with rolling drums and rumbling bass. This one is more akin to the songs found on Razor to Oblivion in overall feel, but it does take a shift toward the old school Swedish death metal feel in the latter half.

Escape From Death
I love the opening guitars to this next one. They are both classic and evil as the drums build slowly up to a chugging rhythm with thick, textured riffs. Man, this is a pummeling song. It’s raw, yet oddly refined and delivered with more than enough enthusiasm on the band’s part. Hell yeah!

I Am Beyond
Hot damn! The opening series of riffs sounds like it could have been pulled right off of Wolverine Blues. I absolutely love it! While the band’s previous work had been raging and aggressive, Ballou has taken that fury and focused it into a keen, sharp direction while still retaining that loose feel that I loved from the EP. This is a damned tasty album. The crushing mosh around 3:40 is burly as hell.

Rolling drums shift into a high paced tempo as the driving riffs come in quickly. This one jams its foot down hard on the accelerator and never relents, only carrying that frenetic momentum through the length of the song. This is another damned solid track with a pretty slick lead around 3:35.

Heavy Breathing
The title track starts off a bit slower than the first half of the album and carries a more foreboding, brooding atmosphere. The track picks up about a minute and a half in with a slick bit of guitar work and brighter overall sound before shifting into an Entombed influenced series of riffs. As far as instrumentals go, this one was bad ass.

Children of the Horn
“Heavy Breathing” leads smoothly into the thrashing mayhem that is “Children of the Horn,” a raucous, aggressive song. I don’t know what else to say about this one, except hang on tight and wipe that damned grin off your face.

Another smooth transition from the previous song delivers us into “Fallen.” After a little reverb and a massive scream, the band jumps head first into the churning fray of driving riffs and manic drums. This one has a bit more of that punk vibe that I enjoyed on Razor to Oblivion. Combine that with a little touch of Entombed and you have yourself one hell of a kick ass song.

Unholy Virgin
“Unholy Virgin” is easily the slowest, most methodical song on the album. It’s chock full of thudding bass, textured guitars and steady drums that ebb and flow nicely with the shouted vocals. With everything that this song contains (including a sick groove), it’s probably the best structured and written song on the album and serves as a nice change up from the unrelenting onslaught we’ve been presented with thus far.

“Wewhocannotbenamed” wraps up a stellar disc slick, memorable guitars, rumbling bass and calculated drum work that combine for a swelling opening minute or so. It isn’t until the vocals come in around 1:40 that all hell breaks loose with rampant drumming, sharp vocal barks and driving riffs. Talk about ending strong. This song is a beefy helping of death influenced thrash. I’m already drooling for what these guys come up with next.

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