Life Reaper

An Album By

I The Breather

Review by

Listen now

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.


Neck Deep

The Pop-Punk Silver Lining

"I would hope from all of this madness we will come out of it and we're better equipped to understand and have compassion for each other." Releasing a new album during an historical epoch is certainly unique, and, for Neck Deep's 'All Distortions are Intentional,' the band looks to the future with a hopeful – and, yes, unique – approach.


Full Feature
Telle Smith of The Word Alive

An Artist's Obsession

Telle Smith, vocalist for The Word Alive, is coming off the release of the band's sixth studio album, MONOMANIA. That was in February. This is, well, now. Originally planned to tour for the new album and play for millions, he’s in his house in California... trading stocks. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt catches up with the quarantined Smith.


Photo by Dusty Winter

Full Feature
Loose Talk

The Blackened Blues

With Anberlin putting a hold on its career, two of its members – Christian McAlhaney and Deon Rexroat – weren't ready to put on hold on music as their careers. Now, their former side project – a "blackened blues" rock and roll outfit – has become their main gig.


Full Feature
Bert McCracken of The Used Photo by Aaron Berkshire

Let's Get to the Heart of Things

"Music is our everything; we live and die for it. It’s our way to be human, so making songs that make that deep human connection is really important for The Used." In a new age of releasing music in a socially-distanced world, Bert McCracken and The Used face the challenge of human connection when physical connection is taboo. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt dives in with McCracken about The Used's new album, Heartwork, his absence on social media, and why 2020 will be the year of rice.


Photo by Aaron Berkshire

Full Feature
All Features