Return to Pangea
Spain has always been more about death metal and the more barbaric side of black metal for me, with Dave Rotten and the excellent roster that he has under his Xtreem Music label. The label this year releases Spain thrashers Breathless‘ sophomore full length album, Return to Pangea. And as the title of the album suggests, Return to Pangea sees Breathless going back to the roots of thrash metal, where it all began.
Killing-sophy kicks off Return to Pangea proper, and right from the first riffs of Eduardo, one is brought back to the early Bar Area days, and influences from pioneers such as Metallica and Testament are immediately obvious. Throw in the speed and intensity that drummer Joan Font puts into the mix of Breathless (leaving on breathless indeed), one will manage to spot some elements of Exodus as well. The aggression in the vocal delivery of Eduardo, along with that abrasive edge that the band tends to indulge themselves in also bring in some Teutonic elements, and one can’t help but be reminded of the works of Kreator or Destruction.
The aural assault is broken by the melodic leads that punctuate the din of the rhythm section of Breathless, helping to make Return to Pangea a nice, balanced record and preventing things from being overly chaotic or monotonous. For instance, Beyond the Ritual is one of the more melodic tracks on Return to Pangea, and the old school heavy metal vibe that these Spaniards have put into the track can get rather reminiscent of Metalucifer and the likes.
Breathless‘ sophomore full length album is one hell of a fun record, and as the title suggests, the band goes back to discovering their roots in thrash metal – and effectively so. The whole range of influences that have gone into the melting pot that is Return to Pangea ensures that fans of thrash will instantly fall in love with this record.
Favourite picks: Beyond the Ritual