As children, many of us recall having been taught to abide by the old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover.” While that advice may work good and well for books and many other life situations, when the subject turns to judging albums, the covers really do play an invaluable role.
Upon first glance at BREATHLESS’ 2015 release, Return to Pangea’s funky, demonic morph-like cover art drew me instantly. I knew that this album was yearning to be paid attention to, as if it was just crying out to be discovered. Admittedly, I was afraid that despite the captivating album art, the recording might still immensely suck. Still hopeful that the soundtrack might be as soothing to my cranium as the cover art was to my cornea, I timidly pushed the play button while also preparing myself for the far too familiar wave of discouragement one endures when terrible music reaches your ear.
By the time Tectonic Chant had settled into my memories and I was partially through Killing-sophy, the second track on the album, I was completely enamored with everything this band had dished out so far. Voraciously, I soaked up the rest of the tunes on the album. A steady onslaught of catchy hooks, heavy metal riffs and melodic harmonies blended together in perfect time and structure creating a musical orgy of epic proportions.
With euphonic undertones, BREATHLESS set themselves apart from the mundane classes of overly technical, structurally unsound, atonal brands of metal that are so common. BREATHLESS’ rhythmic flexibility and versatility, old school thrash and shredder inspired styles have rightly postured them to take over the thrash metal media waves.
Having some resemblance to bands like VIKING, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, and CARCASS, Return to Pangea graces us with an irresistible, and somewhat nostalgic allure. Similarly, BREATHLESS’ grand appeal was further cemented by the singer’s squeaky growl and the drummer’s wickedly thumping blast beat grooves.
While this is only BREATHLESS’ second recorded work, it is anything but drool and scores a whopping 8 out of 10. Given the level of technical ability and creative drive displayed by this talented group of young musicians, one can only anxiously await the release of their next album. Hopefully, this artist will transcend any external or internal limitations and provide fans with a truly groundbreaking composition in the near future.
(11 tracks, 45:00)
By: Taina Tirado