Review Summary: Shrouded amongst the mediocrity of the modern metalcore scene lies a hidden technical metalcore gem: Charmer.
When the term ‘mathcore’ comes up, bands like Botch and The Dillinger Escape Plan undoubtedly come to mind. These bands have created arguably flawless technical metalcore albums - We Are the Romans
and Calculating Infinity
respectively - that have been emulated by numerous other bands, but never matched. Still, most people are so fixated on these two bands that they tend to ignore the lesser known mathcore bands. Some people have the mindset of "well, if it isn’t popular, it must not be very good," which may be the case for most generic artists, but shrouded amongst the mediocrity of the modern metalcore scene is a hidden gem entitled Charmer
The most approachable way to describe the sound on Charmer
is a mixture of Converge's rawness and Botch's intensity. In reality, though, Breather Resist have their own sound. They don’t just linger in the comfort zone of metalcore - they go outside the box. This is apparent in the very first song, “An Insomniac’s Complexion,” which contains a melodic progression that's simply beautiful, in the most abrasive, heaviest way possible. Also, you can’t tell me that the intro of “Loose Lipped Error” doesn't give you the sensation of someone watching you from behind. Speaking of which, the atmosphere of the album is excellent, as shown by the creepiness of “Loose Lipped Error,” the methodical disjointedness of “As Far as Goodbye’s Go,” and the doom-esque feel of “Amphetamine Praise.”
Naturally, to be able to create such deep, dense music, the musicians themselves must be capable. Vocalist Steve Sindoni has a near-flawless metalcore scream, with a perfect blend of rawness and pure emotion. His lyrics in general are excellent as well. The message found in “As Far as Goodbyes Go” is truly moving; straight from Sindoni's heart about his dying mother.
She's not moving, she's not breathing.
I’m afraid this time she's not going to wake up.
They say I’ve got your eyes.
She was so cold.
I’ve got those eyes I had to close.
The guitarist provides great riffs and ear-piercing amp feedback when necessary, for the sake of atmosphere, but the real powerhouse in the guitar department is the bass. In songs like “A Social Worker’s Nightmare” and “Midas in Reverse,” you can clearly hear the distorted bass lines driving the tracks while the guitarist provides the ominous background atmosphere. The drummer does a good job of holding the band together with well crafted beats, fitting seamlessly into the odd time signatures. Overall, the band members have a synergy between them that makes the album sound that much more authentic.
All things considered, Charmer
is simply superb. From the eerie opening noises of “An Insomniac’s Complexion” to the strained, distorted vocals at the end of “Astigmatism,” there is not one moment on the album that is not aurally captivating in one way or another. So now, when recommending hardcore music to your friends and/or fellow music-lovers, the primary albums of discussion should be Jane Doe
, We Are the Romans
, Calculating Infinity
, and Charmer
An Insomniac’s Complexion
Keep ‘Em in Stitches
Loose Lipped Error
Midas in Reverse