This is the second album from US one-man post-metal band Breaths.
Here we have 35 minutes of music that’s described as a mix of post-metal, black metal, doom metal, shoegaze, post-rock, progressive metal, and post-hardcore, and recommended for bands such as Alcest, Deftones, Deafheaven, and Sleep Token. Believe it or not, this wide mix of genres actually makes sense within the context of the bands mentioned, so a picture can start to form of what the Breaths sound is like before you encounter the artist’s emotive metal.
I think of Though Life Has Turned out Nothing Like I Imagined, It Is Far Better Than I Could Have Dreamt, (which is likely to the be the longest title of anything I listen to for quite some time, I imagine), as blackgaze-infected post-metal, with post-/progressive diversions. The mix of crunchy heavy guitars and effervescent, resplendent soft melodies is moreish and well-crafted. This is still an overly simplistic description though, as there are elements of the music that undeniably owe more to post-hardcore fragility than anything else, or shimmering ambience, or raging blackened pain, or a number of other feelings/moods/styles. Okay, so I think the initial barrage of genres and band names probably captured it best after all.
Emotion is the key word here, really. The artist behind the band has crafted music with the sole purpose of expressing rich emotive themes and ideas, and the various genre types are pressed into the service of this. It’s cohesive and smartly-written though, and the music works both as individual tracks and as a holistic album.
The music is ethereal and beautiful, but also angry and hurt. The sense of cathartic release is strong, and thankfully the album is well-crafted enough to carry off this ambitious emotive journey without it ever falling into mawkishness or exceeding its ability. The artist is clearly talented and very skilled, and the album succeeds in capturing his vision for the music very well.
Though Life Has Turned out Nothing Like I Imagined, It Is Far Better Than I Could Have Dreamt may be quite a mouthful, but it is a title worth learning as word of this album deserves to be spread far and wide. If you’re a fan of blackgaze and post-metal then the work of Breaths is definitely something to check out.