CD Review: Gates - "Bloom & Breathe" (Pure Noise Records)

With strained, passionate vocals, lavish atmospherics and scene-setting guitars, Gates create vibrant, sweeping sonicscapes on Bloom & Breathe, their debut release. “Bloom” is one such sparkling example, while the brilliant “Not My Blood” is able to create wondrous beauty with angular riffs and cascading melodies. Bloom & Breathe is engulfing and exhausting, captivating and exasperating, due to soaring, mountainous entries (“Born Dead,” “Again at the Beginning”). Contrasting most of what Bloom & Breathe has to offer is the track “All The Loneliest Of Them,” a gruff and dense ambient offering akin to Saturday Night Wrist-era Deftones. Another dissimilar outing is the acoustically led “Marrow,” a truly heartbreaking offering thanks to lyrics such as ‘I’m more alive than I’ve ever been in my whole life/Knowing why you’ll always leave me dead inside/Ii want the pain of loneliness in me again/I want the end, I want to know where I begin’ and ‘I know that it’ll be alright/I’m just fine knowing that we’re going to die.’ Bloom & Breathe is both haunting and magnificent, a record that should not be overlooked.   

Grade: B+

Go Download: “Not My Blood”