ReviewsAd Patres – Unbreathable (Non Serviam Records)

Ad Patres – Unbreathable (Non Serviam Records)

Although sparse in releases relative to time together as a band – forming in 2008 with one demo and two albums under their belt – French death metal act Ad Patres move on to another label with Non Serviam Records for the third full-length Unbreathable. Guitarist and main composer Olivier Bousquet created a dark, twisted conceptual effort, combining elements of classic death metal with modern, melodic elements plus that added intricate, progressive twistedness in spots. It’s an intense effort to absorb that will keep ears burning and brains attuned to what assaults your senses next over the course of the eight main tracks (ten if you include the shorter “Intro” and “Interlude” segments).

In each track there’s a cohesive sense of intensity conveyed through the main riffs / tempos – these musicians willingly launching into blasting measures in a nanosecond, tremolo or galloping runs handy before the next crushing stop/start interplay combination crushes all. The lead breaks often align in more of a progressive, jazzy free flow platform, providing a bit of melodic smoothness before the next deadly pummeling takes place. Aspects of Decapitated, Hate, Krisiun come to mind the most, along with a sprinkling of technicality that may have some Gorod or Gorguts influence – the key always being that the main hooks and songwriting principles (as well as devious growls/screams from vocalist Axel Doussaud) remain firm in the death metal playbook where raw heaviness and aggressive authenticity rules supreme in all facets.

Where does one begin when looking at highlights? How about the shapeshifting “Exodus” for starters, where the twin rhythms of Olivier and fellow axe man Sylvestre Alexandre join at the hip like a battering ram, the slower sequences mandatory for body launching activities. Next “Chapter X” showcases drummer Alsvid destroying his kit like the octopus-oriented player he is – going from devastating blasts to progressive main hits as he gives his calves a marathon workout on the double kick next to more savage riff twists and caustic growls. The final standout is “Rebellion Grief” – the guitar spots sinister in these semi-technical meets old school death ways, a song that Suffocation followers clamor for.

Thirty-seven minutes later, most will be ready for another serving at the table of high-quality songwriting and performances Ad Patres execute. Hopefully Unbreathable introduces this act to a wider audience on a global scale – as it has all the prime ingredients for all death metal mavens to champion.

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