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Breathing Process, The - Odyssey (Un)Dead (4,5/10) - USA - 2010

Genre: Deathcore / Black Metal / Ambient Metal
Label: Candlelight Records USA
Playing time: 50:56
Band homepage: Breathing Process, The

Tracklist:

  1. Hours
  2. Grimoire
  3. Leveler
  4. Vultures
  5. Pantheon Unraveling
  6. Starless Eternal
  7. Odyssey (Un)Dead
  8. Metamorphosis
  9. Hordes
  10. The Living Forest
  11. Wind Ritual
  12. The Opaque Forest
  13. Decaying Form
Breathing Process, The - Odyssey (Un)Dead

The members of THE BREATHING PROCESS, a sextet from Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, have no use for the parting/appreciative phrase of "Cheers". Instead, in quite Black Metal fashion, they say ‘Drink blood.’

 

Hmmm.

 

Such a coined phrase may not exactly be wise advice as even a small amount of human blood can be filled with bacteria and disease, but I digress, ‘drink blood’ stands as a mighty statement of all that encompasses the spirit of Metal…right?

 

Ah, forget it.

 

The sophomore effort by The Breathing Process (TBP), "Odyssey (Un)Dead", is a yellow mountain bike with muddy wheels and a rusted crank. Wait, no it’s not. That’s my bike.

 

Ahem. "Odyssey (Un)Dead" is a journey through the disjointed mind of a madman cast into the tortuous ruins of exile; a departure of skin, soul, and salvation, said wandering man scrapes through the aisles of great forests; trudges past sandstorms of endless desert, and scales the fresh-water peaks of rogue drifting glaciers to end up looking over a cliff and into a sea of roiling and plashing black.

 

Sounds impressive? Well, it should and it shouldn’t. The TBP crew has read up on the good ole "Tibetan Book Of The Dead" and fashioned quite an interesting concept into quite the underwhelming album.

 

Slated as Blackened Ambient Death Metal, "Odyssey (Un)Dead" is less Ambient Death Metal and more singed Deathcore. And in actuality, it’s all a terrific shame. Rife with keyboard intricacies and M-16 drumming, TBP is clearly a very talented band that suffers from a multiple split personality disorder, which, strangely enough, is what these six Metalheads may be pursuing.

 

Unable to successfully mutate songs into a baker’s dozen of singular forces, the album plays like one long song with 13 intermittent breaks scattered throughout. Although that may seem like a compliment, the more-often-than-not drone song structure, void of hooks and lacking much-needed progression and fury, plays within itself in a relentless loop of symphonic stylings and airy Core dissonance.

 

Songs like the title track "Odyssey (Un)Dead" and "The Living Forest" are heavy and interesting ",and do a solid job of melding styles, but tracks like the opener "Grimoire" and "Hordes’ either blast with no aim in sight or muddle onward with…no aim in sight.

 

The music is spliced with the occasional ghostly female voice, and for the better part of the album, it is probably the most consistently successful and effective choice, which, for the briefest of moments, made me ponder that perhaps TBP should eliminate the star-crossed melding of Deathcore growls and Americanized Black Metal screeching, and produce a record carried by the ethereal pourings of a bountiful young lady?

 

From the unimaginative quip ‘drink blood,’ to the album’s intro, "Hours", which samples a quote from CBS’s crime-drama CSI, in which a man – no, a murdering fiend – confesses to murder before offing himself, TBP are not helping themselves when it comes to audacity and innovation – no matter how many band members they have.

 

(Reviewer’s Note: Evan does not watch CSI.)

(Online June 23, 2010)

Evan Mugford



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