Black Breath

Heavy Breathing

Southern Lord 2010

Seattle's Black Breath have returned after a deadly EP, having refined their sound a bit on their debut full-length album.  Heavy Breathing takes a more Stockholm-centric approach to the style they had formulated on their Razor To Obliveon EP.  Black Sin(Spit On the Cross) starts the melee with a punkier take on Wolverine Blues era Entombed with groove-laden riffing and some decidedly Swedish downtuning.  Escape From Death amps up the Stockholm references even further as this song with its intensely thick, sludgy riffs and dark melodies could easily have been ripped from any early Dismember album.  I Am Beyond strips things down a but for some heavy grooves coupled with a gritty yet crunchy chorus.  More Swedish melodic work can be found in the on the instrumental title-track which then kicks into some adrenaline-overdosed Motorhead riffing on Children of the Horn.  With all these metal influences being kicked out there to describe the music it is easy to overlook the undercurrent of punk/hardcore in each track.  That's not the case with Fallen which boasts a rapid crust-punk assault and gang-vocalled chorus' that register heavy on the stomping hardcore foundation.  Changing gears again, a bluesy bass-line drags along the lethargic corpse that is Unholy Virgin.   Black Breath hit me hard with their EP and this new album pulls no punches. However I was captured by all the Hellhammer/Celtic Frost riffing on the EP which is virtually nonexistent on Heavy Breathing.  With that said however, Black Breath have injected a heavy dose of straight on Stockholm death for an overall more intense and driven album.