I The Breather

Life Reaper

Written by: MBC on 28/12/2014 01:36:46

Earlier this year American metalcore band I The Breather released their third full length on Sumerian Records. The band has been one of the more successful acts on the roster in the last few years with two great albums in “These Are My Sins” from 2010 and “Truth And Purpose” from 2012. This summer then saw them repeat the formula of releasing a record every other year with the new album “Life Reaper”. With front man Shawn Spann being the only original member left, one might expect that the band would go through major changes over the course of three albums. This is not the case, but the band has gradually been expanding their sound, while hanging on to the core that made their last two albums great. On this album they continue this process resulting in their most musical and experimental album to date.

A key characteristic for I The Breather has always been song writing based on syncopated, djenty guitar riffs accompanied by melodic guitar licks and breakdowns. By no means is this is a groundbreaking formula, but the band has managed to keep the style fresh by contrasting great melodies with crushing breakdowns, while refraining from slowing down the pace to a halt like so many other bands who utilise similar song writing structures. Obviously, I The Breather are not interested in repeating the same album again and again and thus have put even more emphasis on the melodic aspect this time around with more songs containing clean vocal choruses. On “Truth And Purpose” clean vocals were present in a few instances, but not nearly as to the extent of “Life Reaper”, where they occur regularly throughout the album. As commendable as it is that the band wants to experiment with its song writing, and although the choruses for the most part are good, unfortunately at times it results in the songs sounding more generic than necessary.

One of I The Breather’s strongest cards is the presence of vocalist Shawn Spann. Once again he demonstrates that he is among the elite of modern metalcore vocalists with another amazing performance that is equal parts ferocious and melodic. He screams in a mid-to-high pitch with momentary lows and delivers with a seldom heard raw passion and desperation, but nevertheless succeeds in keeping his vocals decipherable enough to actually be able to understand him. On this new album he sounds better than ever and has even expanded his range with the aforementioned clean vocals.

I The Breather are great song writers and are definitely one of the better bands in modern American metalcore. They are not afraid to experiment, but unfortunately, they still have not made that one truly remarkable album that sets them apart from the rest of the scene. However, “Life Reaper” is another great album that should please fans of the band as well as metalcore fans alike.

Download: Setting:Sun, Soul:Seek, Dear:Devil, Swine:Cult, Demon:Dreams
For the fans of: Sirens And Sailors, Oh Sleeper, For Today, Northlane, Like Moths To Flames
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.07.2014

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