Black Breath – Heavy Breathing (12” Vinyl)
Heavy Breathing, in its clean completion, could be seen as an affront to the complication and hyper-construction of modern metal, where one-upmanship is found in the portrayal of intelligence. Instead, the record is a return to core – crude – values. Unfortunately, it’s hard to consider Heavy Breathing ever leaving the bedrooms of the converted. For all its achievements, the sound is self-limiting to its pre-existing fan-base and a Mastodon-like crossover seems unlikely. Final track, ‘Wewhocannotbenamed’ is so absorbing yet personal, it is difficult to conceive of the it as a uniting cry for the marginalised and disenfranchised. It is not until the re-emergence of the main riff in the album’s dying moments that we hear Black Breath collecting mementoes from the debris of their destructive sound. In this brief regressive glance, Black Breath show how they’re waiting for nobody.
It’s famously hard to know when a work is finished or not. Many artists argue it’s when the process of creation is severed from the object itself. The ease of each track on Heavy Breathing lends the impression that each one is autonomous. Black Breath may look towards the black robed Nazgûl, however their songs recall the white robed Fates, in that everything sounds predetermined.
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