CD Death Is Swallowed in Victory (CD 1335633),
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Death Is Swallowed in Victory

  • 1. Summoning the Lord of the Pit
    2. Trollz
    3. Disharmony Among Choirs
    4. Ray Road
    5. Cosmetic Abomination
    6. Writhing
    7. Just What the Monster Ordered
    8. Looking Into the Sun Without Going Blind
    9. Night in Terror Tower, A
    10. Trainwreck
    11. Death Is Swallowed in Victory
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MSK2335

  • Credits
    ProducerZack Ohren

    A Breath Before Surfacing: Dustin Curtis (vocals); Jacob Green (guitar, bass guitar); Scott Whisenant (guitar); Trevor Gunning (drums).
    Recording information: Castle Ultimate Studios, Oakland, CA.
    Arising from the new millennium, heavy metal hotbed of Arizona -- Tucson, to be precise -- A Breath Before Surfacing moved rather quickly from inception to first album, delivering their 2008 debut, Death Is Swallowed in Victory, a short two years after originally coming together under the dazzling desert sun. Did it all happen too quickly? Well, opening instrumental, "Summoning the Lord of the Pit," isn't nearly as compelling as its title (how could it possibly be?), and first song proper, "Trollz," bulldozes by in spirited, but largely uniform ferocity, before the second half of next number, "Disharmony Among Choirs," finally parts the music's nebulous clouds, and the tuneful strains of the Gothenburg melodic death metal school shine forth. But such contrasts of light and dark, though subsequently reprised in small quantities for standouts "Ray Road" and "Just What the Monster Ordered" (which, incidentally, cops an introductory "GO!" from At the Gates), are clearly not the quartet's primary focus. Rather, A Breath Before Surfacing display an evident proclivity towards merciless sonic onslaughts bordering on grindcore, as typified by the likes of "Looking Into the Sun Without Going Blind" and "A Night in Terror Tower," or even a pinch of math-metal, if the note flurries cascading out of "Cosmetic Abomination" are any indication. On the other hand, there are also a few, welcome examples of more uncomplicated rhythms to be found in the mosh-tastic grooves of "Writhing" and the title track's hardcore gang-shouts. So all things considered, A Breath Before Surfacing could probably just use a tad more seasoning before their versatile songwriting coalesces into some truly memorable stuff. For now, Death Is Swallowed in Victory is primarily competent, not often thrilling stuff. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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