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The Breathing Process – Labyrinthian

The Breathing Process
Labyrinthian
by Gary Hernandez at 01 January 2022, 5:15 PM

THE BREATHING PROCESS is a Blackened Deathcore Metal band out of the Northeast region of the US. They started as a Metalcore band as far back as 2003 and have steadily evolved their sonic assault over the years. Their most recent release, “Labyrinthian,” dropped on October 8, 2021 on Unique Leader Records. As the title would suggest, it is a hefty if not long offering of complex and dark compositions which very much align with equally complex and dark lyrics.

There is a lot to like about the album, the main appeal being the artful orchestration of Death, Black, Prog, and even Symphonic elements . . . and not in a haphazard way, but with a clear and deliberate intent to underscore the visceral drive of the lyrics. And the second appeal is the depth of the lyrics. With so much going on from the musical front, it’s easy to miss what is going on with the words—for instance, the brutal declaration of My faith is septic along with the rest of me” from “A Savage Plea” or the earnest supplication of “On this path scatter the ashes of the vainest parts of me” from “Labyrinthian.”

Comprising ten tracks and spanning over 53 minutes, “Labyrinthian” isn’t a hit and run affair or something you play in the background while you get on with other things. This is an immersive album that demands and deserves attention. Standout tracks are many, but my favorites are “Wilt” for its gritty riffage so well balanced with Symphonic elements; “A Savage Plea” for its piercing narrative; and, of course, “Labyrinthian” because of its expansiveness and lush melody. Honorable mentions are “Shroud” for its gorgeous solos, and “I Sleep, I Wake” with its unrelenting barrage of fast drumming and the unexpected but well-suited Atmospheric interlude. I also really like “Heir to None” with its ambient intro which cascades into a crushing assault but somehow never breaches its rhythmic backbone. Another multi-movement composition with deep and powerful lyrics.

The production values throughout were impressive. I mean, it can’t be easy to interweave Death sensibilities with piano flourishes! The album cover was not their best, especially after “Samsara” which was just stunning. All things considered, though, this is a very good album, especially in context of the band’s journey. If you come to this album looking for something you heard before on their other releases . . . well, the trajectory is there but this doesn’t seem like a band that is interested in standing in the same place for too long. Good stuff.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Terminal
2.  Shadow Self
3.  Wilt
4.  A Savage Plea
5.  Labyrinthian
6.  I Sleep, I Wake
7.  Heir to None
8.  Shroud
9.  Atlas
10.  We, the Drowned
Lineup:
Jordan Milner – Guitars, vocals (backing)
Sara Loerlein – Guitars, vocals
Bryan Bever – Drums
Alexander Bryce – Guitars, vocals, keyboards
Dan Patton – Bass
Chris Rabideau – Vocals
Record Label: Unique Leader Records
     


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Edited 23 May 2022
 

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