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Through Fire – Breathe

Through Fire
by Chen May at 25 July 2017, 11:12 PM

Through a combination of crushing melodies and in-your-face vocals, Nebraska’s hard rock outfit THROUGH FIRE have been making a name for themselves with their aggressive and high-powered music. The quartet - comprising of guitarist Justin McCain, lead vocalist Grant Kendrick, drummer Patrick Mussack and bassist Jesse Saint - released their debut album “Breathe” in 2016; the deluxe edition of “Breathe” (which contains five bonus tracks) was released in April 2017.

“Breathe” is an album that will get you pumped for the rest of your day; with a repertoire that borders on Metal and lyrical content that will both motivate and pummel you. “Reborn (Intro)” starts off with bizarre and repetitive start/stop synths that are soon joined by drum beats and bass lines. The headbang-inducing “Breakout” is a great introduction to the dynamic and energetic sound of the band. It’s harsh, it’s aggressive, and most of all it evokes a strong sense of determination. One of the album’s singles, “Stronger”, is a motivational hymn that is about letting go of the negative forces in life; the high-spirited nature of this song is a sure-fire way to kickstart your day. In contrast, the single “Breathe” is slightly slower in tempo. According to guitarist Justin, “Breathe” is a hymn about “desperation but hope, as well”. Despite its heaviness, it is a rather sentimental tune, and the band succeeds in presenting the song in a highly emotional manner.

The high-octane “Where You Lie” contains Metal-esque screams, followed by a dynamic guitar solo by Justin. Similar to “Where You Lie”, “Take It All Away” – one of the heaviest songs on this offering - utilizes screams and skull-crushing drum beats and riffs to create an aggressive atmosphere. “Dead Inside” begins with a very brief piano intro before introducing the soaring vocals and screams of Grant, accompanied by riffs and bass hooks. Other tracks such as “Blood On My Hands” and “Damage” are also really solid compositions.

The bonus tracks on this album include a cover of “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri, acoustic versions of “Stronger” and “Breathe”, respectively, and also extended versions of the two previous singles. I find the acoustic version of “Breathe” to be as excellent as the original. However, I cannot say the same with the acoustic version of “Stronger”, as the entire atmosphere and lyrical content of the song do not fit well with acoustic instruments. In addition, THROUGH FIRE have covered “Jar of Hearts” really well, adding their own style of Rock and the occasional growl into what was originally a ballad. It begins in a similar fashion to “Breathe”, starting with a brief electronica intro and immediately segues into a full-blown Rock tune. It is highly emotional and tugs at your heartstrings, making it a worthwhile addition to this album.

THROUGH FIRE are showing great potential in becoming the next Hard Rock sensation. Its blend of Hard Rock vocals and Heavy Metal riffs makes “Breathe (Deluxe Edition)” a great joy to listen to. Grant possesses a powerful and versatile set of pipes, and I find Patrick to be an excellent drummer. Also, the light electronica effects present in some songs blend in very well with the band’s overall sound. In short, this album is a must-listen for every fan of Hard Rock and Metal!

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Reborn (Intro)
  2. Breakout
  3. Stronger
  4. Where You Lie
  5. Breathe
  6. Take It All Away
  7. Dead Inside
  8. Lights
  9. Blood On My Hands
  10. Damage
  11. Jar of Hearts
  12. Stronger (Acoustic)
  13. Breathe (Acoustic)
  14. Stronger (Extended Version)
  15. Breathe (Extended Version)
Justin McCain - Guitars
Grant Kendrick - Vocals
Patrick Mussack - Drums
Jesse Saint – Bass
Record Label: Sumerian Records


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Edited 18 October 2021

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