by Dave Segal
on Sat, Sep 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM
Black Breath: Hair-razing metal assault.
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to catch a Black Breath performance when you have a headache. I had a mild one that was exacerbated by the Seattle death-metal quintet’s crushing, vise-like attack. They began with an infernal growl by vocalist Neil McAdams, which the two guitarists, bassist and drummer replicated. Soon, the spacious Exhibition Hall was totally filled with magmatic landslides of metallic rock volatility.
The best part of any Black Breath show is when the four guys who aren’t drumming bang their heads in unison and their hair—of which there’s enough to forge a large quilt—whips furiously, like manes of fire. It takes militaristic discipline to execute these songs (especially while headbanging), which are swift, absurdly powerful, and as heavy as a death sentence. One felt pity at all the people who forgot earplugs.
Black Breath: Putting the "demon" in demonstrative.
At one point, McAdams announced, “This is a slow song, so grab that special somebody and mosh your dicks off.” Only problem was, Bumbershoot officials decreed that there was to be ABSOLUTELY NO STAGE DIVING OR MOSHING. Bummer, dude. No matter. Black Breath loosed torrents of sonic bile for 45 minutes and the rather meager crowd (2:45 pm is not an ideal time for death metal) immensely dug it, pumping fists and throwing devil horns instead of launching themselves off the stage or slamming into one another.
One more thing: Exhibition Hall still has no atmosphere or charm.