without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
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.
Originally written for http://ravenousreviewswebzine.blogspot.com/
It puzzles me that I only became aware of Death Breath’s existence last year, three years after the release of their debut full length. I mean, this is Nicke Andersson’s first foray back into death metal since leaving Entombed and finding great success with his garage rock band, the Hellacopters. And as an avowed fan of Entombed’s first three albums, I would find this project interesting when it first came out in 2006. But I really can’t remember any press hoopla or message board buzz about Death Breath back then.
Andersson collaborates with another old school DM vet, Scot Carlson of Repulsion for Death Breath. As the band name suggests, the themes of their songs are not as serious as your typical death metal band. Sure, their lyrical themes deal with death, murder is pretty much staple fare for any DM band, past or present. But you can sense from the album that this is done in a tongue-in-cheek manner and these guys were just having fun making songs similar to how they did it back in the late ‘80s. The music part however is something that Death Breath took seriously as they were able to capture the same raw atmosphere, energy and ferocity from their past to their current batch of songs.
Listening to “Stinking Up The Night”, you could hear not only elements from both Entombed and Repulsion but also from Autopsy, a band that was influential to Andersson. Songs rage in double-time speed, the riffs shred like buzzsaw blades and then out of nowhere the tempo slows down to a sludge-y pace. Ah, such is the influence of Chris Reifert’s crew. While guitarist Robert Pehrsson is credited as Death Breath’s main vocalist, he actually splits growling duties evenly among the albums’ nine tracks (not counting the closing instrumental of course) with Carlson and guest Jorgen Sandstrom of Grave while Dismember’s Fred Estby contributes some backing vocals to one track.
Death Breath is yet another excellent example that the old school DM sound of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s is still a viable style that can be re-animated 20 years later. Old school DM fans will find this album quite enjoyable and this can also serve as a history lesson for younger fans that are more familiar with the hyper-blasting or slam-inducing DM sounds of today.
A little country called Sweden still continues to churn out the best goddamn death metal our twisted (and by now, partially deaf. hyok!!) ears could hope for. The reasons are simple. Swedish bands have not fallen prey to the note count. The emphasis on the power of the almighty RIFF combined with an admirable, almost rabid dedication to the Dismember/Entombed roots have enabled Swedish bands to churn out record after crushing record of terrifyingly consistent death metal.
Alright, then. Onward to the album in question, Stinking Up The Night by Death Breath (that name always reminds me of a girlfriend I had but that’s a story for later.)
The names behind the Death Breath engine are truly impressive, boasting 2 of the biggest Swedish metal masterminds, Nicke Andersson (of Entombed/Nihilst fame) and Robert Pehrsson (of Runemagick and Deathwitch) with an even more droolworthy entourage of live musicians including, but not restricted to Jorgen Sandstrom (if you do not know who that is, it would be wise to exit now.) and Scott Carlson. So what we have here is a veritable juggernaut of potential. Sounds good so far, right?
Make no mistake, what Death Breath have managed to achieve on Stinking Up The Night is not original in anyway. Death Breath’s music mixes copious amounts of Nihilist and Entombed influenced buzzsaw riffs with (hold your breath!) sludgy, chugging, skullcrushing slower segments derived from Autopsy. The emphasis on this record (seemingly, at least) is not to indulge in pretentious, technical songwriting but simply to create a riff-driven, no-frills, enjoyable death metal record to cater to that segment of us who still thrive upon memories of Sunlight Records and Morrisound accomplishments in the metal of death. Song-wise, my favourites would be Dragged Through The Mud, with its unabashed Reifert-ian references and the morbidly enjoyable, Lovercraft-themed Flabby Little Things From Beyond. This is not to say that Chopping Spree, with its Repulsion-esque feel (courtesy of Mr. Scott Carlson, no less) or Coffins Of The Unembalmed Dead which sounds like something that didn’t quite cut it to Left Hand Path (that’s not a bad thing at all) are any less testimony to the prowess of the band.
Whether or not this association can be attributed with the ongoing trend of latching on to an old-school sound (some screaming cashing-in, do you say?) is unclear, but the fact remains that overall, Stinking Up The Night is a seething beast of nostalgia for death metal fans, combining some of the best elements of this form of music from both sides of the Atlantic. Buy it!
First of all, this album is not as good as many claim and it is most certainly not as bad as some others say! Furthermore you cannot compare something that is meant to sound old-school to bands like Behemoth or Nile. I am so sick of hearing comments like "hey the vocalist doesn´t sound like a downtuned frog, this can´t be death metal" or "what the fuck?! No extreme blastbeats? No way this is death
metal!"... get over it!
Now on to the review itself.
The music on this record is as you might have understood by what I wrote above, and all the hype it has gotten, old-school death metal. The music itself is rather simplistic without any extreme blasting parts or any riffs that are technical just for the sake of technical. As some other reviewer have said many riffs are kind of punk in the sense that they are simple "chord" progressions that follow a simple drumbeat and all this works the old-school magic. There are some melodies sprinkled across this album as well but they don´t overdo it. Less is more as the saying goes I guess. The vocals are not the low growls that you´d hear in more "modern" brutal acts such as Devourment, no instead the vocals are more raspy and harsh and that also adds to the old-school feel. Seems like Nicke Andersson and company have really put an effort into making this sound old-school. Well they succeded but many songs feel kind of rushed and half-assed. But the songs are catchy at times and all of them sound good and the production is also good, not a crisp clear production and not muffled beyon recognition or anything like that. This album is good when you want something old-school and have already fed your ears with "all the classic records" but still haven´t had enough.
As I said it´s no masterpiece and it´s not crap either but it leans more towards masterpiece. One more thing... why has Nicke Andersson suddenly gotten such a hype?
While I do appreciate old-school Death Metal, this isn’t the first time that this style of music has been tributed. Bloodbath, for instance, has recorded music that intentionally sounds like late ‘80s/early ‘90s Death Metal. Unlike Bloodbath though, Death Breath concentrates much less on incorporating melody, and instead has more of a punkish guitar style incorporated, similar to bands like Repulsion and Master. This also tributes old-school Death Metal in general, whereas Bloodbath concentrated more specifically on old Swedish Death Metal. This means that alongside similarities to Nihilist and Grave, there’re also moments that might remind you of Autopsy, or of demo-era Death. And while the “deathiness” of their music is often disputed, Death Breath is also heavily influenced by Possessed; going as far as to model their logo after Possessed’s devil-tail logo.
Drumming-wise, there isn’t a blastbeat in sight here. The fastest thing usually incorporated is the polka-style beat that a lot of old Death and Thrash bands use. The drumming fits the music well, and slows down accordingly whenever the guitars start playing slower, doomy riffs. Along with slower riffs, the guitars also can speed up greatly, especially on songs like Chopping Spree. For the most part, the guitars play simple, downtuned riffs that sound very much like they could’ve come from Autopsy’s Severed Survival. Occasionally there’s a hint of melody here and there, although the melody is more the sort that Possessed would use, rather than what you’d find in most Swedish Death Metal. I’m certain that the song titles and lyrics are intended to be humorous in some way, with names like Flabby Little Things From Beyond or Christ All Fucking Mighty.
The vocals are one of the most notable things about this album, since nearly every track has a different vocalist. There are only three tracks that are sung by the main credited vocalist, Robert Perhsson, and those three tracks are 1 (which also has backing vocals by Fred Estby), 4, and 7. Scott Carlson sings tracks 2, 5, and 8, while tracks 3, 6, and 9 are sung by Jörgen Sandström. The most raw, growly vocals are by Sandström, followed by Perhsson, and then finally Scott Carlson, who due to the production has more of a gruff, Hardcore Punk-styled delivery, as opposed to the rawer-sounding vocals he used in Repulsion. The spacing out of letting each singer have 3 tracks each, one after the other, helps vary things up a little and keeps you from getting tired of any one vocalist.
If you listen to this album expecting something like Nile or Cryptopsy, you’re gonna be [b]very[/b] disappointed, because that’s not what this is supposed to sound like. If you listen expecting something like Autopsy or Nihilist though, then you’re going to be very pleased. In the case of the latter, I highly recommend this.
Highlights: Death Breath, Chopping Spree, Flabby Little Things From Beyond
Nicke Andersson (ex-Entombed, Hellacopters) is back to his death metal roots, and all fans of old school death metal should rejoice. Death Breath's - Stinking Up The Night is one of the best albums of this year. So pay attention kids, because this is what death metal is all about.
This album has gained notorious amounts of critique for not being "tr00 death m3tal!!1" But these people think that such bands like Behemoth and Nile are what death metal truly is. While these bands are just fine and perfectly good bands, it's just like saying Autopsy, Entombed and Carcass aren't death metal. But these are the very bands that created this genre.
And this is the vein Death Breath is tapping. Those good old nostalgic death metal vibes can be extracted in gigantic amounts from this album. With perfectly raw sounds and great puking vocals, this album just shows all the rookie bands how the shit went down back in the old days. And with zombies!
Drawing inspiration from old 50's/60's black and white zombie flicks, Death Breath captures the feel perfectly. The guitar sound is probably the best factor in this. Almost resembling the old 50's surf guitar sound, the guitars are so twisted and sick that it makes you want to puke. And I say this in the best possible way.
Awesome lyrics, great groovy riffs and vocals straight in your face; Death Breath's - Stinking Up The Night will surely blow you away if you are fan of old and true death metal in the vein of Autopsy and friends.
Don't miss this.
For supposed death metal, this album is weak. From the first track, it reminds me more of a spiced up Led Zepplin or maybe a generic punk bands. The riffs are boring and predictable, reminiscent of the 3-chord progressions used in generic punk songs. The vocals are not intense or brutal as death metal from, say, Behemoth would be.
We finally hear some double bass and a little more full-on drum beat by track three. But for song titles like Heading for Decapitation and Chopping Spree, one does not expect the vocalist to be calm and relaxed while singing about something so brutal. He sounds sophomoric and it is evident that this is a first release. I do not consider this album "true" to the roots of old death metal. The only death metal characteristic I find is the lyrical themes. The guitars are slow and boring, and as the album progresses, the more I feel like I am listening to 'The Ramones'.
The guitar solos again sound like 80s hair metal solos and are not at all shredding, fast or complex. Dragged Through the Mud sounds exactly like the title says, if anything it is boring doom rock, nothing close to Death Metal.
Bottom line, the sounds from this album stunk up my dorm room and while I won't delete it, it will only remain buried in my archives. This is NOT death metal - just boring repetitive crap. Don't get this if you want real death metal.