Review Summary: While very breakdown-ridden, I the Breather manages to release an inspiring, destructive debut
I the Breather plays metalcore style similar to that of August Burns Red. I know what you're thinking, another cookie cutter Christian-metalcore outfit? However, before making judgments, please look into this band for what it is. The album is filled with tasty riffs and surprisingly not-boring breakdowns. The music is continually fast and rarely gives the listener any breathing room (no pun intended). Many will be uninterested due to the fact that this is another metalcore band that plays the same style as many other bands in the genre, but this album is not as boring or bland as most modern metalcore.
As the album goes past the first few tracks, listeners will recognize the blatant repetitiveness; however, you will realize this band solely wants to play heavy, aggressive, fast music. What makes this different from any other modern metalcore release is the vocals. One may see them as annoying and strained, but they are screamed with utmost passion to the religious lyrics portrayed in the album. The sound of the vocalist is like a fusion of screaming and shouting at mid-range. Usually, the vocalist stays at his regular tone, but sometimes screams at a lower level during the down-tuned breakdowns in order to add intensity and variation. In certain instances, his scream changes into a cry, as if he is in pain, to convey the emotion erupted by tragedies explained in the lyrics. To give the listener a break from the constant barrage of breakdowns and riffage, the song Conquer has a piano outro that leads into an instrumental track, Empathy.
The instrumentation is absolutely devastating, specifically the unrelenting guitar work. The drums keep up well with the music. Like in most metalcore albums, the bass work is mostly inaudible. The lyrics are very religion-based and sometimes they are generic stories we have all heard before (e.g. in High Rise, a man is begging God for forgiveness); however, if the listener has no care for Christian lyrics, there are many inspirational and positive concepts throughout the album one can receive motivation from.
Most of the tracks are just songs from their old demos that have a better production with some changes here and there; for example, the gang shouts at the end of High Rise. Overall, the album is a collection of destructive and inspiring songs.
While this band does nothing to reinvent the genre, they are certainly talented enough to separate themselves, even if only slightly, from the sea of generic metalcore acts; and there is nothing wrong with a good breakdown fix once in a while.