Driving west on Highway 17, heading home after a few days of Northern debauchery, a new friend puts on Disturbed’s album Immortalized, which got rave reviews from all present. Through Fire just released their first album called Breathe, and it reminds me a lot of that car ride. This new band (founded in 2015) is already climbing the charts. Let’s check this out.
“Reborn (Intro)” launches the album with some slick audio production tricks and a plethora of audio soundscapes. Although it serves as an introduction, this kind of piece is what you hear when the credits roll after a big budget action flick. It’s followed by “Breakout,” a track that immediately showcases this band’s energy and knack for creating big hooks. The musicians are tight, the production is top-notch, and the band easily combines their love for hard rock along with the radio-friendly formula (many choruses and an average song length of three and a half minutes). “Stronger” is the lead single off of Breathe and deals with issues of strength and determination. Singer Grant Joshua Kendrick belts out super-charged vocals that mix melody and a growl which suits the song perfectly.
Also, worth noting are the fantastic drum and guitar tones on this record. There’s no mention on who mixed this one, but I’m sure (s)he’ll be getting more work soon. “Where you lie” is next and delivers huge choruses as well as a shred-tastic guitar solo from guitarist Justin McCain. The rhythm section play tightly together, dishing out syncopated rhythms with precision and power. The namesake of Breathe follows with a slower tempo that leans towards ballad territory. We hear some great vocal harmonies and some psychedelic effects on the lead guitar part. Speaking of guitar effects, anyone familiar with the Whammy will recognize it in “Take it All Away,” one of the more sinister tracks off of the album. It’s heavy-hitting and reminded me the most of Immortalized. There’s also an eerie element of a Nine Inch Nails’’ sound here, which I quite enjoy.
“Dead Inside” is the kind of track that makes you want to mosh. Grant screams his way through the song, maxing out in intensity at the choruses while yelling, “You’re dead inside.” In the meantime, the band collectively slam the life out of their instruments. “Lights” is next and sees the band returning to the gentler side of their musical palette, playing a strait-forward rock tune that keeps things interesting thanks to great riffing and another fantastic guitar solo. “Blood on my hands” is another banger that sounds great, is well performed and showcases drummer Patrick Mussack’s finesse on the kit. Breathe ends with “Damage,” another power-packed hard rock jam.
Through Fire have created a rock solid, nu-metal-tinged record that fans of Disturbed and Three Days Grace will enjoy. The tracks sound huge, and each contain catchy, anthemic choruses that will probably be sung by droves of fans at their shows in the coming months. The single issue I have with Breathe is that a few of the tracks resemble each other. Having said that, Through Fire do what they do very well and have been gaining recognition for their hard work, and that may be all they need.
Written by Dave Tone
*edited by Danielle Kenedy