EXCLUSIVE SINGLE REVIEW: I, The Breather – “PREY” (2020)

Artist: I, The Breather

Single: “PREY”

            It isn’t very often that I review standalone singles anymore. In fact, for the last couple years at least, it’s been my rule not to review standalone singles. My reasons for this are many—and none are crucial to go into here—but suffice it to say that in the time it takes for someone to find, sit down and read a review for a single, it’s just as easy to listen to the damn song.

                                    However

            Every so often, an opportunity comes up that is nothing short of foolish to turn down. Case and point: “PREY,” the comeback single from metalcore icons I, The Breather. With a successful and influential career in contemporary metalcore in the books, the band came to what many (myself included) consider to be a premature end. Now, the year is 2020, and the band are back, but with a twist. With their maliciously catchy metalcore now without a Christian message while sounding darker and heavier before, I, The Breather’s “PREY” is a dissonant, groovy revival of an old, well-trained dog boasting some very new tricks.

            While I, The Breather are certainly no strangers to the heavy, “PREY” kicks it up a notch or two. The song features quick, precise percussion that kickstarts the track and doesn’t let up. Perhaps the single biggest change, however, comes with the addition of a new (but familiar) guitarist and a low-end that feels as though it could crumble mountains. Low, groovy fretwork shines throughout “PREY,” in a constant sharp dialectic with eerie, haunting leads that add a catchy, ambient flair throughout the song. All these elements coalesce—not only into back-busting breakdowns, but into a contagiously catchy refrain and a series of hyperdissonant, bombastic grooves. The finishing touch? Grisly vocals that hit tones both meaty and shrill. With harsh bellows juxtaposed against screeching screams and harshly yelled singing, “PREY” is more than instrumentally diverse.

            “PREY” is a punishing track—a definite switcheroo from even the hardest hitting tracks in their back-catalogue. While it’s an energetic and rousing comeback cut, it begs the question what the shape of I, The Breather will be on future releases. In any event, if you’re looking for a non-stop, relentless track from a band that defined metalcore for many in the scene, you need look no further—because it appears I, The Breather are alive and breathing once more.

4.5/5

For Fans Of: Reflections, Like Moths to Flames, Currents

By: Connor Welsh