The Breath Of Life – Sparks Around Us (Album – Wool-E Discs / Manic Language Records)

By Mar 4,2021

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Genre/Influences: Gothic, Post-Punk, Dark-Wave, Dream-Pop.

Format: Digital, CD.

Background/Info: Three years after the brilliant album “Under The Falling Stars” (2017) Belgian gothic proud The Breath Of Life strikes back with this new opus. This must be the band’s tenth studio album since 1985. Isabelle Dekeyser (vocals), Didier Czepczyk (bass guitar), Giovanni Bortolin (keys and violin) and Philippe Mauroy (guitar, drums & loops programming) bring us eleven new songs.

Content: I can’t say this album sounds like one of the band’s most versatile ones, but there clearly is a mix between different 80s related influences emerging at the surface. The songs are moving in the typical Dark-Wave and Post-Punk vein, but there also is a more explicit and fragile aspect, which comes closer to Dream-Pop. Most of the songs are driven by a melancholic sound, which has something dreamy-minded while the guitar playing has this elevating effect. Isabelle Dekeyser has this impact of a Goddess by her now fragile and then mature and passionate timbre of voice.

+ + + : The Breath Of Life is one of these bands, which no longer has anything to prove. They simply compose the music they like and each album again they’re pleasing their fans. The main strength of this work comes through in the sensitive and melancholic approach of the song writing. The guitar accentuates the emotional side on songs like “She’s Not Real” and “Her Dream Cloud”, but also shows pretty refined playing on “In Her Darkness” –this song being the absolute highlight from the album. I get the feeling this album is a bit more into Dream-Pop influences, which here and then again remind me of The Cocteau Twins, but this band first of all remains a formation with a very own sound identity.

– – – : I think this album can’t compete with its predecessor although it’s an accomplished and fascinating work. I’m just missing a few more songs with some climax!

Conclusion: The Breath Of Life each time again sounds a bit different from their previous full length although you always recognize little details making the essence of their sound.

Best songs: “In Her Darkness”, “Her Dream Cloud”, “She’s Not Real”, “The Girl In A Box”, “She Wore A Crown”.

Rate: (8).

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