Black Breath

Sentenced to Life

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Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Sentenced to Life feels like an exclamation point studded with framing nails. Steeped in the punishing gloom of early black metal, but fueled by the muscular attack of thrash and punk, what Seattle's Black Breath lacks in the hooks department, it more than makes up for in sheer, unfiltered menace. There's an overall sense of history at play here, but it never results in the material sounding retro. Tracks like "Feast of the Damned," "Mother Abyss," "Obey," and the relentless title cut may owe a tip of the blade to bands like Motörhead, Corrosion of Conformity, Agnostic Front, and Entombed, but there's more than just hero worship at work here. With Sentenced to Life, Black Breath have crafted a no-nonsense slab of modern hardcore that draws from a diverse set of rules, but yields to none of them.

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