Making minor waves in the metalcore early noughties glory years yet quickly falling by the wayside as the forerunners began to leave the growing surplus in the dust, Michigan sextet Still Remains perhaps couldn’t have chosen a time more apt to make their return. As the muscle and melody blueprint a decade on begins to once again tighten its choke-hold on the international scene, ‘Ceasing To Breathe’ is not only a timely reminder of the genre forefathers enduring influence, but in its own right a stridently accomplished and thoroughly current record.
With 2014 having barely limped over the starting line, we will already be hard pushed to find an opening track as colossal as ‘Bare Your Teeth’ in the twelve months to follow. Venomous bounce and sucker punch breakdowns combine with an anthemic chorus refrain which provides a blinding light in the inky darkness, and it’s this call to arms vitality and relentless instrumental bite which acts as a summation for all that makes ‘Ceasing To Breathe’ such a bracing listen. ‘Crone’ is a bloodthirsty marriage of melodic riffing and rhythmic clout, ‘Beacon’ is all ear worm hooks and closer ‘Bitter Shroud Repentance’ wraps up proceedings on a particularly aggressive note.
With the number of surprisingly strong comeback records in recent memory mounting up, Still Remains have delivered in a way which reaffirms the rich yields possible from the old guard cherry picking influence from the contemporary acts they spawned. Dampening slightly the electronic touches which set them apart previously, ‘Ceasing To Breathe’ pedals with aplomb a furiously modern heaviousity, their unwaveringly savage thrust tempered only by melodic breaks which serve the intensity rather than freeze momentum.
With so many up-and-coming metalcore releases touted on ‘Most Anticipated’ lists of late, Still Remains have come from seemingly nowhere to lay down a heafty gauntlet.
Written by Tony Bliss
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. |