Thursday 2 June 2016


GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Black Metal / Post-Metal / Ambient / Experimental
Related artistsFoxmoulder, Dela Trudos and Stuck Out Here.
CountryToronto, Ontario CANADA
Years Active2014-present
Song: "Ascent"
Album: "Gravity and Grace"
Year: 2016
For fans ofLocktender, Old Soul, Nous Étions, Rosetta, Nine Eleven, Alaskan, Ephemera, Godspeed, You! Black Emperor, Angel Eyes, Mogwai, Isis, Monuments Collapse, Hum, Envy, 124C41+, Sinking Steps...Rising Eyes, Fall Of Efrafa, Light Bearer, Lentic Waters and The Pax Cecilia aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Narshardaa Records / Ozona Records / Dingleberry Records
This post's artist is from the March 2016 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the May Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2016 Mix#6 here.

Sharing 75% of Foxmoulder (the bassist Darren is on guitar, the guitarist Rohan does the same, as does the drummer Travis), Toronto's RESPIRE will be a contender for Album Of The Year on many a list. Really? A debut LP making the top spot? Yep. The absolute cohesion of screaming, frantic drumming, three guitars and a bass and trumpet to tie it all together is uncanny. The unique sound of post-everything, screamo, black metal and orchestral music is so engaging and wonderful that even after, what - perhaps 40 listens in two months, my wife and I agreed that we simply can't get sick of 'Gravity and Grace', RESPIRE debut and (dare I say it) masterpiece. The band always jokes about it taking them forever to complete something. Well guess what? When you write music this incredible you can take all the time you want and you won't hear me complaining!!!

I'll go through each song on the phenomenal 'Gravity and Grace' first, followed by the 'Zampler' track and the 'Demonstration' digital EP relatively quickly. I repeat, relatively.

The opener "Pitter Patter" is a somber, calming, atmospheric and instrumental opener with the sound of rain. One of my favourite songs on the record follows as "Ascent" is a perfect example of how a trumpet can take a great post-hardcore/post-metal song and make it phenomenal. There's even a porn part at 1:46 that is ridiculously good. Seriously that trumpet is insane and makes everything epic as fuck. Track three is "Eternal Light" that twinkles in before moving like the tectonic plates of the Earth at 40 seconds which sounds like a massive rock opera, complete with strings, trumpet and palm mute breakdowns. "Waltz" is a dizzying romp through black metal, post-hardcore and screamo and is the heaviest song on the record. The stop at 40 seconds with that beautiful pinging guitar leads into, simply put, insane drumming, especially at the end during which Emmett's trumpet swirls around in a climactic end to a stunning song. The title track "Gravity and Grace" is the instrumental interlude for the middle of the record. Perhaps interlude is the wrong word, as the trumpets, bass, drums and three guitars weave some beautiful melodies that gracefully sweep through the air as if their was no gravity. Ha, gracefully. Ha, gravity.

"Eternal Nothing" is nothing short of a masterpiece. Seriously, this 9:24 re-imagining of the song "Nihil" from their 'Demonstration' EP is one of the best songs I've ever heard. The first minute builds with expansive, ambient guitars and an effortless trumpet which culminates at 1:55 with their entire dark arsenal. At 2:20 the trumpet absolutely silences all else with the best and catchiest notes this side of ska, which, thankfully, are included later on. At 3:30 the song shifts into atmospheric mode with one guitar and some minor squealing that continuously build and accumulate strength whilst mixing with more instrumentation. The nearly Mexican-standoff sound explodes like a supernova at 5:27 with a repetitious guitar riff and gang vocals of, "There is only one truth, we all die alone. There is only one lie, this has all meant nothing," that loops for about a minute before the climactic and insanely good outro begins with the massive, pumping palm mutes on all three guitars that truly anchor a prodigious and superior wall of music. The shifts at 7:32 when the black metal element is once again infused and the drums drive the song for a short bit with all the rage and indifference of a speed-freak flooring a race car that eventually leads back into that fist-pumping outro. Holeeeeeeeey shit that's an amazing song.

"Evening. Melancholy I" opens with the cleanest and most accessible vocals of the record and is some ways bears little resemblance to the rest of the record, and resembles Hum more than any hardcore band. At 1:40 the song shifts into mildly heavier territory with a few members screaming their lungs out over the slow, seeping sounds that emanate from the instrumentals. "Evening. Melancholy II" insane drums and anguished screams are at the forefront of this track from the get-go, but at 25 seconds those sweet, sweet trumpets chime in and carry the song away. This is almost always the bands closing song live as they continue to belt out the last line of, "forever and always" after the song ends live, but cut that short on the record. The closer "Evening. Melancholy III" is a very short song, clocking in at 1:47 and nicely wrapping up the LP, although because I've seen them live so many times I almost feel as if "Evening. Melancholy II" would have been a more apt denouement.

On the first day of 2015 I released 'Zampler #4' on Zegema Beach Records with, what I thought at the time, was a demo version of one of the LP songs. After hearing the final full length I came to the realization that the song "Anthems for Falling Stars" is now exclusive to the Zampler as it never showed up on the LP. The song is very good, but after hearing 'Gravity and Grace' I can see why the didn't re-record it, because those songs are just so damn good. At nearly 9 minutes it varies more than perhaps any other song the band has recorded, as the serene parts are nice and tranquil but the monsters definitely come out, take the entire two sections from three to four minutes as a prime example, and is quite reminiscent of Locktender, if I may say so myself.

Back in early 2014 RESPIRE dropped a trailer and then the 'Demonstration' digital EP. The four tracks are a great starting point and show a lot of maturity on a debut recording. The early version of "Eternal Nothing" is titled "Nihil" on this demo, but it still kicks major ass. An excellent track that is exclusive to this release is "Nox", which starts out heavy as fuck but scales it back after the first 30 seconds with droning, ambient tension that snaps like a twig at the two-minute mark and multiple screaming, piercing guitar notes, and devastating drums take over until the song fades out at 4:33.

I assume that most readers of this blog are already well aware of RESPIRE (here's a song premiere post, here's a show post w/Gillian Carter, here's a show post w/Lentic Waters, here's a show post w/Locktender and here's a show post from the ZBR mini-fest) but in the off chance that you are not, you're in for a stunning journey.



2014 - Demonstration digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - Zampler #4 - Flip Six Three Hole compilation cdrLP (contributed "Anthems for Falling Stars") (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - Gravity and Grace 12"LP (stream/buy here) [buy 12" 1st pressing here]


(2016) RESPIRE - "Eternal Nothing" (from 'Gravity and Grace')

(2016) RESPIRE - "Ascent" (from 'Gravity and Grace')

(2016) RESPIRE - "Eternal Light" (from 'Gravity and Grace')

(2016) RESPIRE - "Evening: Melancholy II" (from 'Gravity and Grace')

(2015) RESPIRE - "Anthems for Falling Stars" (from 'Zampler #4')

(2014) RESPIRE - "Nox" (from 'Demonstration')


RESPIRE additional links


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