Sunday, November 14, 2010

Obscure Bands: Still Breathing

While I was in college, my mom bought me the occasional CD from the local Christian bookstore. These tended to be more miss than hit, but on occasion there would be something good.

Still Breathing's 2002 album September is one of the good ones.

First, I have to talk about the obligatory obvious thing: a female vocalist in a metalcore band. But she's a good female vocalist. She has an excellent, pissed-off mountain lion kind of scream, with the occasional clean vocal thrown in here and there. Having formed in late 2000/early 2001, this must have been one of the first metalcore bands to go that direction.

While I'm not particularly a fan of metalcore, they are one of the better ones. "Scars for Tomorrow" is a perfect example of how breakdowns can actually be interesting, every now and then, though they do let the whole breakdown thing get a bit out of hand on "Only This". Their sound is thrashy (despite the lack of solos) and more aggressive than your average metalcore. It does have some slight nu metal influence (see "Forsaken"), but it's minimal.

Other songs of note on the album include the more melodic "One Kiss", the excellent "Sweet Wound Sour", and the Living Sacrifice cover "Threatened". Of course, being a Christian metalcore band, covering Living Sacrifice was not exactly a surprise, and they do a good job of it. The problem is that the track is more interesting than the rest of the album, so it makes the rest of it seem worse than it really is by comparison.

In all, it was a good album, and I give it 3 out of 5 stars. As I write this, Amazon's best price is a penny plus shipping (99 cents for a new copy), so if you have any interest it's not exactly a big commitment.

I had heard that the band broke up several years ago, but it seems they now have a web site and a new demo, and have recently played some shows. I'm not quite sure it's the same band, but I think it is--the vocalist now appears to go by "Dacia" instead of "Dacey", and none of the other members appear to be the same, but I think it's the same band.

Too bad they suck now:

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