When I was first introduced to Black Breath by their Razor To Oblivion EP I knew they showed a ton of promise and as if 2010's Heavy Breathing wasn't enough, they've certainly made good on that promise with their latest offering, Sentenced To Life. Sentenced To Life has the speed and ferocity that Black Breath have displayed as a band previously but their songwriting is much stronger than it's ever been.
The album opens very similarly to Altars Of Madness with the drums being scratched in the mix and slowly creeping up on the album opener "Feast Of The Damned". Cuts like "Forced Into Possession" and the title track reinforce their old school death metal approach and are very reminiscent of the early Entombed material. Also like Entombed, Black Breath are not afraid to use good old fashion rock n roll riffing and let the compositions play out for themselves, with barely any flashiness, like we've heard from them before in the song "Unholy Virgin" and they approach new tracks like "The Flame" with the same kind of bravado.
Black Breath are a very flexible band in terms of the way their playing has evolved on Sentenced To Life because they know how to change things up from song to song and none of the tracks ever get predictable as that tends to happen with a lot of newer bands. Where a cut like "Endless Corpse" slows things down and stretches out the jam, "Mother Abyss" picks right back up into that speed driven and crusted thrash hell that Black Breath rip so hard. These guys are also masters of the breakdown. They don't rely on it at all. It's just another thing they're good at and when it shows... it shows and it's very effective. Look for this on "The Flame".
I also need to point out that the cover photograph is the absolute perfection of where metal photography needs to be in the year 2012. Artists take note: we need to see more hammers. Bring it!