I, the Breather
Life Reaper



by TooManyFriends USER (11 Reviews)
August 17th, 2014 | 10 replies

Release Date: 07/15/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With Life Reaper, I the Breather bare their fangs with their most expansive and consistently engaging effort to date.

Since their establishment, I the Breather have been often regarded as a solid, if not unspectacular metalcore band. Chunky riffs? Check. Half-time breakdowns? Check. Lyrics about pain and misery? Also check. None of that has really changed on their newest output, but to be honest, it’s not necessarily a bad thing; with Life Reaper, I the Breather bare their fangs with their most expansive and consistently engaging effort to date.

To put it bluntly, These Are My Sins and Truth & Purpose lacked variation. Individually, the songs were pretty good, but in the context of an album, they became almost nauseating as you realized they all pretty much sounded the same. Evidently, the band realized this, as on Life Reaper, an increased emphasis has been placed on memorable melodic passages. That’s not to say that heaviness and technicality have been sacrificed for the case of catchiness. Far from it, actually; as was the case on the first two albums, I the Breather are at their absolute best when they put their heads down, lay down monster riffs, and bash your skull in. “Swine:Cult” is perhaps the best example of this, with its relentless, breakneck pace and frantic call-and-response verse between vocalist Shawn Spann and guest Ricky Armellino. Their breakdowns, which tend to be more of a gag in standard metalcore fare, are equally as vicious; the spastic, glitchy breakdown in “Self:Restore” in particular. As it stands, that’s a running theme on Life Reaper, with stop-start riffs and guitar squeals around every corner. Elsewhere, the rhythm section of Conor Hesse and Aaron Ovecka aren’t particularly remarkable, but you can’t accuse them of doing a bad job at any point on the album.

Going back to the aforementioned melodic sections, Shawn Spann’s improved singing voice comes into play on well over half the songs. He does an admirable job carrying the choruses throughout, especially on the standout “Demon:Dreams” and lead single “Soul:Seek”. His lyrics still range from average to cringe-worthy (see: “Setting:Sun”), but as far as metalcore vocalists go, he’s about as good as it gets. His screaming vocals are vicious and wide-ranging, and he performs at a commendable level on every track. Generally speaking, I the Breather’s songwriting is much improved. “Shape:Shifter” is perhaps their most emotionally charged song to date, and its seamless segue into electronic interlude “Re:Volution” gives you plenty of time to sit back and reflect on the madness.

5 years into their career, I the Breather are not changing the game. As a band, however, they are operating at peak capacity, churning out a legitimately memorable and inspired effort. In an over saturated genre infested with clichés and gimmicks, that’s commendable all its own.

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user ratings (31)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 17th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this needed a review

also this band doesn't show up when you search them for some reason

August 17th 2014


today's metalcore bands literally do NOTHING to sound different from each other and it's incredibly sad. I'm not saying every newer metalcore band considering The Syters and Palm Reader have impressed me big time but this stuff is the same shit you can hear from some other band making it big.

August 17th 2014


Well-written review. I only disagree on the fact that this is more melodic or varied than Truth and Purpose. This is pretty much more of the same with the same balance of cleans. Good album but not quite the step-up I was hoping for.

August 17th 2014



Palm Reader is ripping Dillinger's style in most of their songs (sometimes Converge) so your argument makes no sense

August 17th 2014


terrrrrrible album

August 17th 2014


Good review. Pos'd

Their first record was good but didn't do it for me. I did like that they had their own signature sounding picking style that you could hear in the junz. Helped them standout a bit while abusing breakdowns. The Second album didn't have the picking sound but overall was much more fun imo. I remember a lot of songs off of it. Heard a single from this, sounded different but pretty good. May check it out.

August 17th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

tanks guys

August 17th 2014


THis album is fun as hell but not really something that would demand multiple listens in a short amount of time tbh

September 2nd 2014


Any other good songs but Soul:Seek riff-wise?

September 2nd 2014


These guys are kinda fun I'll check dees oot

Digging: Crooks - Nevermore

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