Despite the rather unimpressive artwork (though that is a pretty bitchin' new logo they've got), Black Breath's sophomore effort "Sentenced to Life" is nothing short of what fans of the band should expect. Extremely hard-hitting riffs, intense vocals, crazy solos and the high chance of some violence ensuing. While this isn't much of a departure from the sound that this band has created, especially on their debut record "Heavy Breathing," it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that Black Breath has added an extra dose of metal influence into this full-length.
The same unrelenting energy from Black Breath's previous material can be found throughout "Sentenced to Life," and I probably would be pretty accurate in saying that this record is more aggressive and angry than anything this band has produced before. The riffs are simple, yet they're played in a way that makes them memorable and highly convincing that these guys are the real deal, similar to Joel Grind and every project that he touches. There is absolutely nothing mindblowing about the intro riff to the track "Home of the Grave," but it doesn't matter because the listener will be too busy giving himself a concussion from the inevitable headbanging that is sure to occur. The title track is another song that really excels at keeping things simple, but incredibly catchy with a great mix of death metal tremolo sections and crusty riffs abound.
These metalpunk bastards hardly tweaked their sound here, but the more emphasis on the metal influence is definitely noticeable. The intro to "Endless Corpse" creates a highly eerie atmosphere with the use of melodies and other instruments before turning into an assault of high octane death/crust goodness. The track "Mother Abyss" is a complete onslaught of the senses as it decimates everything in its path with some very thrashy riffs and some others that absolutely reek of Repulsion on "Horrified," which is always a great thing. The dark melodies found on "Sentenced to Life" aren't really new to the band per say, but they're found in more abundance. The melodies on "The Flame" and "Obey" are a great addition to the music as they give the music a much darker feel once again and play up that metal influence.
Even with the extra emphasis on the metal aspect of this record, I wouldn't say that these guys are closer to death metal than crust, like Bastard Priest, but there is no question that Black Breath is some top-notch death/crust. To put things simply, if you are a fan of any of the band's previous material then "Sentenced to Life" will instantly become a mainstay in your collection. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to Black Breath yet, but you like any of the bands that I name-dropped earlier on then you had best be buying this record once it comes out.
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"Sentenced to Life"
"Home of the Grave"
4.5/5 or 90%.