The Needle Drop

Black Breath- "Mother Abyss"

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[audio:http://www.southernlord.com/mp3/6.%20Mother%20Abyss.mp3]MP3

Black Breath is a Seattle band I fell quickly in and out of love with in '09 and '10. The adrenaline-pumping riffs on the band's debut EP on Southern Lord were satisfying, but the band didn't bring much in the way of momentum or raw energy to its full-length debut, Heavy Breathing. The speed and volume was there, but it just wasn't doing much for me.

What tracks I've heard so far from the outfit's latest album, Sentenced to Life, are way more appealing. For example, "Mother's Abyss" features a guitar tone that's as thick as it is metallic. All the speed, heaviness, and syncopated riffs on the hook actually remind me of Southern Lord labelmates Nails--though Black Breath does stop just short of bringing a clear grindcore influence into their tracks.

Instead, Black Breath works with a more traditional song structure, and finds ways to keep this high level of intensity engaging for just over two minutes.