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Ehhhh... - 72%

Noktorn, August 31st, 2008

This reminds me significantly of several other Wraith Productions bands: Absonus Noctis, Chaos Moon, Sapthuran, etc., and that reminding comes in a lot of forms. Musically it seems very in line with what Wraith is accustomed to doing (which makes sense, considering it was the label's second release): raw yet melodic black metal with thin, very digital production and fairly simple, linear song structures. Oddly specific, I know, but the majority of the material found on Wraith fits that mold more or less. So, with that said, I have about the same opinion on this item as I do most other Wraith releases: pretty good songwriting hampered by very inadvisable aesthetic choices.

Breath Of Sorrows plays a very riff-based, somewhat depressive style of raw/melodic black metal. Those riffs are generally fast, tremolo picked, and reminiscent of 'Transilvanian Hunger'-era Darkthrone with a more complex modern flair. These riffs are repeated quite often over a shimmering drum machine and wrapped in a sheath of wildly screaming, suicidal-inspired distorted vocals. It's fairly cool if nothing unique. The band is good at using contrasting fast and slow passages to create a dark, misty atmosphere. The riffs are fairly well composed in that textured 'Transilvanian Hunger' style but with more direct melody, which is not an incredibly creative combination but it gets the job done. The programming is adequate (although the constant use of the crash cymbal in places is irritating) and the vocals are passable (though the fact that they don't adhere to any rhythm half the time starts to get on one's nerves). The songs are good if unremarkable; some of them feel too long for their own good. Overall it's not bad.

The central problem that afflicts it is the same one that is found on many Wraith releases: it feels more like a lengthy demo than a full-length album. It might make a bit more sense this time as it seems this release is partly composed of material from the self-titled demo from a year before, but even then it doesn't really rationalize how it's a full-length album. Yes, it's long enough, but the content merely feels like a strong demo, a problem that could be seen on Absonus Noctis' 'Penumbral Inorgantia' in spades. While the riffs are good and the song structures are functional, a lot of time the music fails to really 'come together' and feels like a lot of unrelated parts vaguely moving in the same direction. It lacks depth; it feels like all the effort was placed in the riffs and everything else was just sort of done on the fly while moving on to the next track. It's an album that I have trouble listening to all the way through for these reasons; it would probably be better as a four track demo than nearly 65 minutes of music.

It's a decent album. Most black metal fans will like it and my criticisms are rather eccentric. Overall though, I don't feel it as much as I think I should and that's a bit disappointing. I like listening to the occasional track from this but the album as a whole is something of an ordeal. Your musical mileage may vary, so take it for what you will.

'..A Tragedy That Your Soul Inhales' - 87%

SadistAria, September 28th, 2007

With much promise, Breath Of Sorrows is a very obscure group that resides from within the unknown nitches of Las Vegas, Nevada. Who the hell would've thought that a black metal band would surface from such a scummy place? When you think Las Vegas you probably tend to immediately think of the often glamorized city with disease-infested junkies, and other ghettoes in-between the city's mess of fuck ups and slobs. Perhaps this environment exudes this filthy harmony for an inhabitancy with a such high suicide rate.
- Aside from the impertinent depiction, B.O.S. started ten years ago as a side project by Belial and Lord Scorpius of Demon Sword. But according to the leading man there were many miscommunications in the past, so the other members discontinued contributing to their project. Nevertheless, Scorpius proceeded from the sidelines, providing more material than the previous defected members, as he continued his own journey of intolerance.

Concerning the final product, "Through Darkness To Battle I Ride" starts with a blast of abominations that bring back the glorious times of the infamous Kristallnacht. Such a song is well suited for memories of genocidal wrath and resentment toward the masses. Conversely upon their vision, there are many elements that take place in this release, as each song possesses individual traces of tasteful perversities. Oddly enough for their first album, it closely resembles the sounds of an inexplicable blend of Burzum's "Det Som Engang Var" and Katatonia's "Dance Of December Souls", yet comparing the two is nothing short of an inaccurate outline to how captivating and blatantly hateful this really is.

These apathetic sculptures really push the envelope of such devastating symbiotic molds and furious malignity within: 'Sea Of Solitude' and 'Come Forth (Like The Winds Beneath Me)' are impeccable models in such viral audio ear rape.. Each carrying sentiments from a sweltering bog of catchy sardonic warbles to beguiling drums with a precipitous tempo. 'Fragments Of Life Lost In Empty Battlefields' and 'Deprive My Thoughts' deem to be the best examples of how twisted ambient influences can stretch, while still standing its ground. Lastly, the self-titled track and Roky Erickson's rendition of 'Night Of The Vampire' seem to be ideally sullen, acting as interesting recesses in-between a grand malicious fashion.

As you may guess by my rambling metaphors, dissecting these eulogies is very hard to do.. but there are also some minor errors that position this release on the back burner, yet only in such the paltriest degrees. At times Belial sounds too whiny, but this goes without saying that it makes the entire album a flop. It just assembles an experience more manic and unbearable to the common listener.. Which is something I thoroughly relish. In general, the vocals are utterly harsh and have very little delay in most tracks. Nevertheless, it retains as a grating lugubrious depth confined in isolation, even when clean speech is used.

From being prominent as a stepping stone to forming into a lullingly caliginous flamboyance, the guitar leads and bass rhythms intermediately meld paramountly throughout songs. Also, as the martial drums build with mesmerizing faint infectious flattery, in some way they appeal falsely genuine for very odd reasons. The clinking hi-hats are a dead giveaway, but the overall sensation is rather rich and fulfilling. Sure this release contains keyboards and other indistinct effects stemming from its more visceral roots of traditional predecessors, but this isn't too overdone or hideously upbeat like Lifelover. Nor is it unfruitful by means of harmonized symphonic impacts. The only time I honestly can say that the keys ruined a song is during the last thirty seconds of 'Black Ash (Mist Of Night)'; it's something that seems almost too comical to take serious. Rather to dwell in that small blemish, whoever, (most likely Belial), participates in adding this neoclassical touch excels in their duty, and the cessations are near masterful.

Perhaps a Shining influence could be mentioned, but that would be terribly nonsensical and uninspiring. Moreover, I couldn’t stress the fact that Breath Of Sorrows is much more advanced than most in its class, at the right moments, rather than focusing on playing stunts to enthrall the brainless. Sitting next to Krohm and Vuotare, this album is by far one of the best overlooked expressionisms wrapped in bleak dementia that the United States has to offer. To top it off, I have this gut feeling that there is a lot of room for potential when it comes to this band.

On the contrary, "Through Darkness..." could arguably be the concurrent American equal to the pre-millennial organic anomaly known as "Remains Of A Ruined, Dead, Cursed Soul".. without counting or contrasting legacies. What makes this comparison is the blistering rawness inside the tenth and eleventh inverted strains. Through the grapevine of the contemptible unaware, this additive may fully impede enjoyment.. I think not. I believe these songs are solid examples of what B.O.S. may have sounded like if the whole recording were more unforgivingly unkempt. It just shows a different side to their exclusive progression from previous demos. Gladly, vocals were added for this prolific release, so there shouldn't be many complaints - Just morose composites of ironfisted undertones that literally come from the ashes of limited resources.. and it can surely could care less for your well-being.

Indeed, this music emits from the sleeping doleful barbaric personalities that will show you an obscure delight to a curse of depopulation. Guiding the piercing blade upon your flesh for a little over an hour, this is an insanity of what oppresses senses. To each his own to contemplate when it comes to this style, but in such a case 'suicidal black metal is more true to the soul'; (which doesn't even compare to the extensive relatives). This is the breath of sorrows.. so traverse this misanthropic plague or be doomed along the way! An unpretentious mockery of all kinds is at hand.

Highlights: Night Of The Broken Glass, Drowning In Abyssic Despair... the entire album