Blackened Symphonic Deathcore stalwarts The Breathing Process bring the fire like no other in their subgenre in the form of their latest album ‘Labyrinthian’.

Featuring in their ranks Guitarists Jordan Milner and Sara Loerlein, Drummer Bryan Dever, Keyboardist Alexander Bryce, Bassist Dan Patton as well as Vocalist Chris Rabideau, this sextet specialize in a sonic onslaught that is as grandiose as it is aggressive , perhaps leaning to much toward the grandiose at times for a curmudgeon such as myself. Their patented, propulsive Blackened Symphonic Deathcore throws its weight about with a confluence of mammoth riffs, haunting melodies, blistering drum battery, vocals that run the gamut from high pitched screeches to putrid gutturals and exquisite orchestral layering. For the most part the ferocity and heart felt fervor on hand works yet there are moments in which the pomp throws the proceedings off kilter.

At just under an hour in length ‘Labyrinthian’ is a sprawling statement, one that although for the most part praiseworthy does have its share of drawbacks. Opening with the menacing “Terminal”, a fist pumping piece of pummeling double kick fury that hinges upon a sequence of chunky rhythmic battery and rapid-fire staccato riffing , things begin in quite a vein bursting fashion. Built upon a far more traditional Black Metal framework ‘’Wilt” alternates between a central riff that evokes Immortal at their finest and some seriously gnarly Deathcore devastation.

Orchestration pervades throughout this album as does machine gun riffing and bludgeoning breakdowns.
Personally I find the preponderance of delicate tinkling keys and atmospheric theatrics that govern “A Savage Plea” and title track “Labyrinthian” to much to stomach. I understand the appeal of music such as this yet can’t help but cringe when the sonic pantomime that is being played out becomes to garish for my liking. I am cognizant that music such as this is meant to shimmer yet at times its gleam sparkles to much for me.

In conclusion The Breathing Process are undoubtedly talented musicians and their take on Symphonic Blackened Deathcore is noteworthy. Unlike The Ember, The Ash who plies a stylistic variant of this sound which portrays nuance and emotion in a fashion that is iconoclastic and not wholly dependent on orchestration and I find The Breathing Process tend to sacrifice savagery for keyboard driven pomp which detracts from the overall experience. With that stated I have no doubt that this group will appeal to all and sundry whom possess a penchant for such grandiose fare. In fact if bands such as Lorna Shore, A Night In Texas and Mental Cruelty are your thing then The Breathing Process will undoubtedly appeal to your sensibilities.

-Asher Locketz-

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