Black Breath: Slaves Beyond Death

Seattle’s metal marauders dig up some more dirt

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Bleaker than their previous offerings, the Seattle metallers’ third LP proves the band are going from strength to strength.

Taking cues from Swedish death metal pioneers such as Entombed, Black Breath merge d-beat, death, thrash, crustpunk and black metal effortlessly. The result is a distinctly old-school 90s sound with thrashing beats and impressive guitar riffage interspersed with palm-muted chugs.

Their blend of genres make tracks like Seed Of Cain a real feat, the song’s intro bred with touches of Kill ’Em All, leading into Neil McAdams’ black vocals with Slayer-styled solos and Obituary-shaped drum assaults. Slaves Beyond Death hails from a sludgier domicile, leading into Reaping Flesh, a spine-chilling taste of proper death metal. As guitarist Eric Wallace put it, “you don’t have to reinvent the whole fucking wheel to come up with something that moves people,” and if Slaves… doesn’t carry anything ‘new’, it is an expertly crafted rework. Any heavier and Black Breath would crush your skull.