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Each Breath Haunted

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Album Review

With so many rampant (and oftentimes forced) attempts at expressing heartfelt emotion coursing through the mid-2000s East Coast metalcore scene, the Banner's decision to pen surprisingly clever horror movie lyrics instead is not only refreshing, but downright entertaining. Where else, pray, have you heard a well-spoken werewolf's earnest plea ("An Allergy to Silver") to be set free from his curse, lately? Sure, the Banner's tack can be decidedly less subtle on other occasions (see "I'll Be Happy When You're F*****g Dead"), but as a whole, Each Breath Haunted seems to suggest what the Misfits might have sounded like had they been members of this generation. The coincidences don't end with the lyrics, either, as, musically, hardcore is also the Banner's bread and butter, with typical fare like "An Allergy to the Sun," "Black Hood," and "Muddweller" proffering melodic examples of the genre before expanding into some metallic, start-stop chicanery for good measure. Elsewhere, soft but ominous basslines introducing or comprising the entirety of several cuts ("Devilhawks," "Sovereign of the Black Pit," "Interlude") are used to successfully heighten the dynamic effect of the next metalcore thrash-out. And on the closing "I Am Legend," the Banner both admits and exorcises its Misfits fascination with an epic new take on the Richard Matheson vampire masterpiece. It's a bit too early to tell, of course, but at least on the strength of this excellent LP, there's no reason why these guys couldn't eventually prove equally relevant for their generation. Hey, it could happen.


Formed: 1999 in New Jersey

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Your Murder Mixtape, the Banner's 2003 full-length for Blackout, opened with a song called "Zombie Onslaught." That should give you an idea of what the quartet's particular take on metalcore sounds like -- guts and ghouls and screaming death, delivered over jagged hardcore melodies and amplified with death metal intensity. Weird breakdowns and detours suggest a junior version of the Dillinger Escape Plan. The Banner had actually debuted previously to Murder Mixtape with the Posthumous EP, also on...
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Each Breath Haunted, The Banner
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