The more I listen to the new Black Breath album, "Slaves Beyond Death", the more I recognize this is a truly stellar effort.
It's not that the Seattle-based Thrash quintet have re-invented their sonic wheel, or orchestrated something inorganic -it's that they've managed to out do themselves- and possibly everyone else.
"Slaves Beyond Death" opens with the crushing "Pleasure, Pain, Disease", on which Black Breath vocalist Neal McAdams' throaty rasp strikes as his best on record yet. The album dives into title track, "Slaves Beyond Death", a mid-tempo slammer, in which Black Breath drummer Jaime Byrum's snappy wrist snare attacks, and guitarists Mark Palms' and Eric Wallace's unequivocal, Stockholm Deathcrush tone simply rip.
"Reaping Flesh" takes aim and kills with its blast beat-driven push and McAdams' banshee wails. "Seeds Of Cain" opens up to diabolical, D-beat-driven Thrash, calling up shades of Entombed or Dismember, and "A Place Of Insane Cruelty" is an absolute banger.
"Burning Hate" is the album's boiling point, sears at the seams with thunderous tremolos and rage-quenching riffs, and "Evocative Chains Of The Afterlife" summons singing dual harmonies as a backbeat of groove grinds the album to its epic close.
The tracks on "Slaves Beyond Death" are cranked out in sheer overdrive, outfitted with unrelenting, crowd-pleasing moments that quickly become wincingly enthralling favorites - this album will make everyone's end-of-year list.
"Slaves Beyond Death" was recorded over the winter months of 2014 with Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts. The album was released September 25th, 2015 on Southern Lord records. Check it out over at Black Breath’s official Website at BlackBreath.com or order a copy at SouthernLord.com.