For five years, I The Breather has been reimagining and redefining metalcore. Taking cues from veterans like The Devil Wears Prada and For Today, the band fronts an aggressive, edgy feel with an unrelenting tour schedule fans are devouring.
The Baltimore, MD five-piece got its start back in 2009, quickly signing to Sumerian records. The group released their first full-length, These are My Sins, in 2010, following it up in 2012 with Truth and Purpose. (The band’s touring history is also fantastic, appearing with acts like For Today and August Burns Red and on big time events like the 2012 Mayhem Fest.)
The group’s third release, Life Reaper, takes a little bit of a change of pace for the group though. I The Breather’s first two releases were standard metalcore with very little clean singing (if any), loads of breakdowns and catchy guitar riffs. Life Reaper still carries those same elements but brings a little more to the plate, starting with the addition of more clean vocals. It helps break up any monotony can creep into standard metalcore albums. The band uses a lot more symphonic pieces, lacing them into the chugging riffs and breakdowns. This adds beauty to the brutality of the album and gives the whole piece a well-balanced flow, and maintaining the aggression the band is known for.
Lyrically, this album isn’t too different than their previous releases. Vocalist Shawn Spann’s known for basing the lyrical styles of the group mostly around his experiences of being lost and then found again by God, as well as addressing fallacies and falsehoods within the Christian world.
Overall, this is a strong release from a really good metalcore group, helping bring back roots to the genre while pushing its limits. For fans of The Color Morale, Sleeping Giant and The Devil Wears Prada.