Friday, February 10, 2012

Death Breath - Stinking Up The Night [2006]

Death Breath have members that have previously played in monster grindcore/death metal acts like Repulsion and Entombed, among others. Although more of Entombed’s influence has planted it’s ground on Death Breath’s overall sound, they manage to explore their sound more, adding small yet uplifting details that make this album that much better, and they have released it in “Stinking Up The Night,” a debut full-length that ranges from death/doom to death/thrash to all-out, no holds barred old-school death metal.

The album starts with more of a doomy sound, bringing to mind the death/doom style that Autopsy are renowned for. However, after the first thirty seconds or so are over, you will be overcome by immensely catchy riffs and transitions. The break at 1:51 also introduces yet another sound that Death Breath successfully put into play; thrash/punk that’ll provoke you to bang your head like an absolute madman. Songs like the title track or “Dragged Through the Mud” do indeed have a doomy/sludgy approach, especially prevalent in the latter, but Death Breath also produce chuggy, midpaced riffs, as shown on “Chopping Spree.” This one is probably a highlight on the album, adding good double bass work that pounds along with the guitars. Many riffs on this album are great in all of their old-school simplicity, and thrash riffs are played every now and then as well, expanding their range of riffing to keep you interested. Another noteworthy track is “Cthulhu Fhtagn!”, a very eerie and slow one (differentiating from the rest of the album), ending the album on a peculiar yet interesting note, perhaps leaving you wanting more.

The vocals tend to shout more than utter low death growls, often being very akin to Entombed and Dismember. You’ll also hear rawer, more hardcore-influenced vocals used throughout, and this isn’t surprising, considering that the vocal duties are shared by the different members. Melodies on this album are rather scarce, the riffs being largely Swedeath and Autopsy-driven, sometimes giving way to breaks that are bound to break your neck off. On the drumming side of things, there is not much to be said, but Nicke Andersson does his job well and delivers so that the drums don’t detract from the guitars. There’s not very much variety, being primarily filled with thrash/punk beats. That’s not to say that they’re bad either, because he does his fair share of double bass work that succeeds in making some songs heavier than they’d be without it. He also refrains from using blast beats, as they’d most likely produce a monotony that is not evident with what he has brought to the table, and that’s definitely a good thing.

If you’re into old-school [Swedish] death metal, you’ll certainly enjoy this album. It should come as no surprise that these bastards have released some pretty great death metal either, as they originate from Sweden, a country that’s constantly producing great metal acts for the avid death metal fan that easily surpass others in practically all side of things. This record has enough catchy riffs so as to keep you awake and the sporadic break that’ll certainly make you nod along, as well as the more frequent old-school death metal riff that’ll remind you of other Swedeath bands in their absolute prime. The lead work is great as well, and often adds an eerie vibe. The production makes the album sound much rawer, giving the guitars a heavier and more chuggy tone. A great album with almost no inconsistencies. It’s a shame that not many metalheads have come across this one.



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