Band: I, The Breather
Title: These Are My Sins
Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Reviewer: Joshua Clark
- The Common Good
- High Rise
- Crown Me King
I, The Breather is a five-piece band that formed in the summer of 2009. Not too long ago they signed to Sumerian Records and are releasing their debut These Are My Sins. I first came across ITB this past summer on the Scream the Prayer Tour date at Heaven Fest. They had a solid live show and I was pretty impressed with their live set, even with the fact that they suffered from some minor technical difficulties. I was curious how that would transfer over to their studio recordings. I’m glad to say that energy and passion flowed nicely into their studio release.
If there is one thing to say about this album it would be the album is emotion packed in both the lyrics and the music. I recommend reading along with the lyrics as you listen to this album. I think it added a whole other dimension to the experience.
Their lyrics are almost brutally honest and bring up some pretty heavy topics because of it. Most of the themes cover standing up for what you believe in and fighting the battles that you get into through life. Ultimately though it revolves around being lost and then being found in Christ. I found the lyrics to be great encouragement for any Christian’s faith and at the same time its great for those looking for answers and be able to find what they are looking for. Which gives the message of the album a really broad appeal and one that is worth being heard by everyone.
Here’s an example with the lyrics from “High Rise.”
“All my life I’ve searched for the right, But followed the wrong/My Faithful, Please forgive me/This is Real, Please forgive me/All my life I’ve loved, Searched for the right, But followed the wrong/My life is a perfect example, Of dreams that failed/Oh, I’m perfectly, Un perfect!/But is this what I live for?/”To be judged and marked for dead”/I cant even stop and think about how many times I’ve failed/I got a feeling every time I get up I’m just pulled back down/I need to find a solution/How many times will I fail before fate eludes me?/But is this what I love for?/”To be judged”/These are my sin’s…”
Lead vocalist Shawn Spann delivers vocals that are raw, and in your face. There are no clean vocals or any sung parts on the album, so if that’s what you expected from this metalcore band you won’t find them. Yet the vocals still have a nice sense of melody at times even though they are harsh and abrasive. While the vocals are just fine for what ITB is playing here, they tend to blend together in each song and give a sense of familiarity.
ITB sound could basically be described as a typical metalcore band and there isn’t exactly anything new offered in this album sound wise. Now I am not saying this as a negative aspect though. The guitarists Jered Youngbar and Justin Huffman, are talented and throw out some pleasant riffs. Though they sound nice they deliver a lot of what is already common of numerous guitarists in the genre. The drummer Morgan Wright, is technical enough and is rather satisfactory by adding in some really solid drum fills. Bassist Armand Vincent completes the sound by giving ITB a fuller sound and adds to the heavy atmosphere. IBR has a powerful delivery and is very intricate throughout this album; just don’t expect to see anything brand new in terms of sound.
Even though its not redefining the genre of metalcore, I was not disappointed. They really remind me a lot of a young August Burns Red, almost too much at times, but since ABR is one of the leaders of the pack in the genre; they’re really not that bad of a band to be compared to. Basically the amount of technicality these guys possess in their music, the plentiful amount of breakdowns and the fact that there is no clean vocals yet still that sense of melody, like ABR, it makes it hard to not compare ITB to them. Thus, if you like ABR it’s a pretty safe bet you will enjoy this band.
The only thing that I mainly found disappointing with this album is that it runs together here and there. A lot of the songs run together from having similar sounds as previous songs and the vocals used similarly through the tracks. This does make the album seem a little drawn out towards the end. But for the most part this doesn’t hinder you from getting into the band’s music and diving into their great message. IBR holds their own with their very loud and heavy album, with the exception of the piano segment at the end of “Conquer,” that then leads into the instrumental titled “Empathy,” with both giving a bit of a break from the sea of heavieness.
Overall: for ITB’s first release they have given us an above average debut. Sure their sound isn’t the freshest and having a noticeable comparison to ABR, but ITB delivery nonetheless is powerful and effective. You can tell the guys worked hard on this album and put a lot into it. I really like how it was honest and filled with emotion, while packing a punch. “Forgiven”, “Destroyer,” and “High Rise” were some of the track highlights from the album for me. But really if you like one track you will like the rest, just as long as some familiarity won’t bother you. In all, ITB releases a solid debut and definitely has the potential to impress the masses and possibly take a similar road as ABR before them.