Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Breath - Razor to Oblivion

Black Breath
Razor to Oblivion
Southern Lord

Moving forward in their attempt to corner the market on bands with “black” in the name, Southern Lord releases its latest slab o’ sludge, the Razor to Oblivion EP by Black Breath. Hailing from bucolic Bellingham, Washington, the quintet reaches beyond the grunge for which its region is most famous to the legacy of bands like the Accused, combining whiplash-inducing thrash, spittle-gushing hardcore and Baphomet-baiting extreme metal. Kinda like Celtic Frost and D.R.I. grudge-fucking each other, in other words. Like a self-referential slasher flick, the four-song set is ugly, violent and messy, yet somehow compelling; Neil McAdams’ caffeinated shriek is simultaneously forbidding and inviting. I don’t know if I’d really want to hear more than 15 minutes; music like this can be numbing and tedious unless the riffs flow like blood from a severed artery, and the heart quits pumping over time. But this particular quarter of an hour is the perfect length, and more bracing than a cup of espresso chased with No-Doz.

- Michael Toland

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