Release Date: December 7th, 2010
Label: Sumerian Records
Website: None available
Hardcore is a scene full to the brim right now. Yet, this Baltimore 5-piece make more enough noise on their debut album to make the purveyors of the scene sit up and take notice. Fusing complex rhythms, pummelling beatdowns and scorching vocals all wrapped tightly in a metallic cocoon, I, Breather could be onto big things and soon.
From the word go on breathtaking opener ‘Forgiven’ it’s relentless stuff. Racking up beatdown upon beatdown and riff upon riff, songs like ‘The Common Good’ and ‘Doomsday’ explode into the listener’s ear from wherever they happen to be playing. Whilst the aptly named ‘Destroyer’ sets a thunderous pace with its intricate guitar work and thumping bass lines. Even with its pummelling, brutal sound ‘Longevity’ best shows off the band’s metallic instincts with some soaring guitar work.
Time after time, it’s clear that this band have set out on a mission to write a record that transformed into a live show will tear every venue a new rectum, such is the force that these songs are delivered with. ‘Conquer’ shows the raw power and relentless fury, whilst the slightly more calculated ‘Crown Me King’ boils over into devastation. And the devastating riffs of ‘High Rise’ and ‘All Spark’ will leave the listener feeling as though they have actually been in the pit themselves.
Despite all of this, there are still criticisms. The repetitive breakdown laden formula makes it difficult to concentrate on listening to the whole album, and this clearly poses as a problem. For anyone who does have the patience to continue onto final track ‘Illuminator’ will find it an ultimately dull affair, as the band attempts to mix it up by throwing in some electronics towards the end.
However, with an album this good, these criticisms can and should be pushed aside into a dark, dusty corner never to be mentioned again. It’s strange for an album this devastatingly brutal to be so accessible, but it is nonetheless. Despite recreating a sound that has been heard a million times before and will be done a million times over, this is a really remarkable album, and a must for any hardcore or metalcore fan.
Written by Oliver Thompson