Sound — 9
One of the newest additions to the Sumerian line-up, I The Breather offer a unique, distorted look at prog metalcore and metal in general with their debut release. While not straying away from a lot of tried and true techniques, the final result is something truly marvelous, bouncing around from Born Of Osiris-esque tech metal to vicious breakdown beatdowns a la August Burns Red. I The Breather do everything here to avoid being labeled as a generic "core" band, and for the most part, they succeed. The intro track "Forgiven" has some insane tapping melodies that send chills down my spine, and "High Rise" features some insanely awesome melody lines, linked with no-holds-barred breakdown bliss. "Longevity" starts with a deceptively calm lead before crashing into a huge wall of sound that practically begs for live play. The drumming on this disk is something I really want to point out (yeah, I know, this is a guitar site, but still...). It's executed in such a raw but driving fashion that the kit can't help but stand out in the final mix. The drums add that final punishing layer of sound to a very musically solid band.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, these guys will definately be hit-or-miss with most. To get the biggest barrier out of the way first... They're Christian, and the lyrics definately show it. In my eyes, this isn't a bad thing, seeing that this isn't just a sermon with a few breakdowns backing it. They're creative with their writing, and quite possibly to a point where non denominational audiences would be far more accepting to listen. Some notable lyric samples include: from "The Common Good": I will force this bone unto the chest and Wrip the hearts from the guilty ones. from "High Rise": All my life I've loved, searched for the right, but followed the wrong. My life is a perfect example, of dreams that failed. Oh, I'm perfectly, unperfect. The relfective nature of the lyrics gives them a passionate feel that's hard not to put yourself behind, and are, all in all, very well written. The vocalist has a tendancy to stick to a comfort range, which is a mid-range scream. He rarely exits this, but when he does, his lower bellows come off with an ironically demonic quality that's as passionate as it is menacing. And sorry for fans of metalcore as done by The Devil Wears Prada or Underoath, no clean singing here.
Overall Impression — 7
I The Breather are one of the best new bands to break into the metalcore/tech-core scene in recent years, and definately show promise of going far with their sound. They are a band that isn't easily lumped into a corner or category, and I'll go as far as to say they're truly unique in their scene. Bottom line: give this album a listen. If you're a fan of this style of music, you most certainly won't leave disappointed. For fans of: Veil Of Maya, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, August Burns Red.