Death Breath
Let it Stink

Relapse (2007) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Death Breath – Let it Stink cover artwork
Death Breath – Let it Stink — Relapse, 2007

Alright, let's look at the stats:

Name: Death Breath. A truly ridiculous name for a band of any genre

Albums: Stinking Up the Night, Let it Stink. Are you kidding?

Album Covers: Pictures of zombies, paintings of zombies. The new EP featuring a parody of The Beatles' Let it Be cover. With zombies. For real? Is Weird Al Yankovic in the band?

Founding Member: Nicke Andersson (Hellacopters)

Status: A "project". Unclear as to whether this should be preceded by "side". Performs live on occasion.

With these vitals, it's unclear as to how anyone ever first took the time to listen to them in the first place. At least not without first seeing the album in the store, laughing hysterically, and moving on to another section.

Verdict: One of the best albums you're likely to hear this year.

At first glance, they can easily be construed as a joke - taking the piss out of an easily targeted style of music. One listen is all it takes to convince you otherwise. This band is not a joke - it is a loving homage that beautifully encapsulates the old-school death metal sound with a hint of hardcore and an irreverence that gives the genre a good swift kick in the ass for taking itself too seriously. These guys play for keeps and a closer look at the pedigree will have you feeling shame for ever doubting them in the first place. Lest we forget, before fronting the Hellacopters, Nicke Andersson was the drummer for Entombed, a band that was essential in shaping the Scandinavian death metal sound of the 1990's. Enlisting the help of Repulsion drummer Scott Carlson solidifies the notion that Andersson isn't screwing around.

While I'm sure this band is an absolute blast for them - bringing back the death of yesteryear, there's no generic nostalgia to be found. Every song is absolutely brutal. Taking the homage one step further on this latest EP is a handful of cover tunes originally performed by the likes of Bathory and Discharge - updated with both love and malicious intent.

As much as it may pain you to include such absurdity in your oh-so-scary-and-serious death metal collection, I defy you to pick up this album (or the aforementioned Stinking Up the Night) and not find yourself playing it just as much as your Morbid Angel and Carcass albums. This is old death for a new millennium.

Death Breath – Let it Stink cover artwork
Death Breath – Let it Stink — Relapse, 2007

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