Breath of Sorrows – Through Darkness to Battle I Ride

breathofsorrows_120306_throWhen I think back on the US black metal scene 5 years ago or more, there was a certain musical characteristic that came along with such contemplation… disjointed. Out of key. Brutal. Things have changed a lot over the years now that the US bands are discovering more the true feel of black metal, but elements of aggression are still a vibrant part of the US BM contingent. Breath of Sorrows falls under such a descriptive tag, for even though “Through Darkness to Battle I Ride” does encompass more of a European BM aesthetic in sharp guitar tone and overall dissonance, their music often maintains a cold sense of aggression and structuring style that could be found in modern death metal, with just more of a scathing presentation. For one thing, the drum machine is very much up in front on this albums mix and its synthetic tone reflects a completely triggered drum kit, often found on death metal albums these days. Add perplexing changes and a very maniacal vocal performance and you have an album built on attempting to make the listener suffer. I do like this style and found a lot of merit within the 12 tracks on this album, mainly in the variety in structure and interesting guitar ideas, but I tend to relate/connect on a much deeper level with atmosphere and depression in black metal than Breath of Sorrows brings to the table. Perhaps they could have achieved this by working in more layers within their compositions, for tracks like “Slow form of Suicide” and “Night of the Broken Glass” are very 2 dimensional and searing in their coldvoid attack. You hear drums, antagonistic guitar lines and excessively loud screams of torment… no bass lines, secondary guitar ideas or depth. As the album progresses, BOS tend to ease up on their attack an focus on more of a straight forward BM churn, even incorporate a bit of keyboard accompaniment as well, but the output remains solid, but very plain/unadventurous. “Through Darkness to Battle I Ride” is successfully abusive, though stylistically stunted black metal, which should appeal to the elite class of BM enthusiasts who scoff at progression in their scene. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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