April 12, 2024

Belgian goth / coldwave act The Breath Of Life signs to Spleen+, announces new album and immediately releases a download EP

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The Breath of Life was formed in 1985 and the band immediately stood out thanks to a creative originality, as a result they are the best known cold wave gothic rock band from Belgium. The band has now signed to the brand new post-punk label Spleen+ (division of Alfa Matrix) where they will be releasing their 11th album.

A first excerpt in the format of a 3-track EP is out now via Bandcamp (and all other platforms): “Down We Go”. The EP evokes good old ethereal moments from the 4AD cult years merged with their classic darkwave roots. Also added to this 3-track release is the band’s take on The Cure’s “The Lovecats” which got turned into a much darker version. As 3rd track you get a more electronic song which is their very own reinterpretation of Implant’s “The Last Record” featuring Len Lemeire himself on backing vocals.

Anno 2023, The Breath Of Life are Isabelle Dekeyser (vocals), Philippe Mauroy (guitar, drums programming), Giovanni Bortolin (violin, keyboards), Didier Czepczyk (bass).

Below is the video for “The Lovecats”.

About The Breath Of Life

The group was formed in 1985 in Gembloux when Isabelle Dekeyser (vocals), Philippe Mauroy (guitar), and Benoît Sokay (bass) first met. In 1990, with the addition of Giovanni Bortolin (keyboards & violin – formerly of Jo Lemaire + Flouze) and the decision to incorporate a drum machine, the group independently produced a 10-track cassette. In 1991, the band embarked on a tour in Czechoslovakia, followed by another tour the following year, which is reflected in their debut CD “Live in Praha 92”.

That same year, they released their first studio album “Painful Insanity,” recorded by Gilles Martin, a renowned producer of Coldwave (Minimal Compact, Tuxedomoon, Anna Domino, Colin Newman, Malaria, The Names, Indochine). 1993 marked their breakthrough with the release of “Taste of Sorrow,” also produced by Martin, featuring the title track “Nasty Cloud,” which became a gothic classic.

In 1995, the band released “Lost Children,” showcasing a more ethereal wave style. They subsequently signed with Hall of Sermon for their next album, “Sweet Party,” which came out in 1997 and marked a shift towards a more pop and electronic sound. In 2000, they released “Silver Drops,” once again with Martin at the mixing desk. The album combined melancholic pop with elements of trip hop. Shortly after, Mauroy departed the band, and Didier Czepczyk took over on guitars.

With the albums “Everlasting Souls” (2005) and “Whispering Fields” (2012), the band returned to their gothic roots and introduced a real drummer, Marc Haerden. Benoît Sokay, the bassist since the band’s inception, left in 2014, and in January 2015, Philippe Mauroy rejoined the band, almost 15 years after his departure.

In May 2017, the album “Under The Falling Stars” was released, marking the return of Gilles Martin as the producer. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and while Belgium was still under lockdown, the band decided to record their 10th album. Each member recorded their respective parts at home and shared the files using WeTransfer. However, when COVID-19 restrictions allowed, two band members traveled to France and met with Gilles Martin for the final mixing process. The resulting album, titled “Spark Around Us,” was released in November 2020.

During the lockdown in Belgium, the band recorded three cover songs: “Winning” by The Sound, “Ashes To Ashes” by David Bowie, and “Inner Station” by Minimal Compact. These covers were exclusively released on Bandcamp. In 2022, they were approached by the Belgian record label Alfa Matrix for various compilation projects. The band was asked to cover a song from the Belgian electro project Implant, a song from the electro-pop band Psy’Aviah, and a song from the Italian project Imjudas.

As one thing led to another, the band was soon approached to join Alfa Matrix’s post-punk sublabel, Spleen+.

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Eldrina Mich
As Eldrina Mich I work as a go-between and a devil's advocate when it comes to Side-Line. If our own staff needs to be interviewed then ask the questions no one else dares to ask.

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