London Has Fallen – Breathe

London has Fallen_RingMaster Review

London Has Fallen is a duo from Peoria, Illinois; a band with a sound which smothers ears with melodic caresses within a creative drama and who have just released a rich captivation in the shape of second album Breathe. Uniting alternative and pop rock with electronic and orchestral imagination, the pair of vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Alecia Gates and multi-instrumentalist/producer Cameron Gorham create emotive, shadow lined aural romances as songs, encounters bursting with a vibrancy and passion which potently capture the imagination. Breathe is an album which maybe takes its time to fully seduce, but from first to every subsequent listen, it is a release which only leaves a lingering pleasure behind.

Gates and Gorham first met in 2013 courtesy of a mutual Facebook friend. This led to the latter working on Gates debut solo project which in turn led to the pair uniting as London Has Fallen. Last year saw the release of well-received debut album Fracture, a slice of rock ‘n’ roll crafted with melodic fire and emotive intensity. Since its release, the band’s sound has grown and evolved into a just as forcefully persuasive proposition but with a mellower air and more uniquely dramatic character, first hinted at by the Into The Night EP. The four new songs in its body are also part of the broader adventure of Breathe, its success as a teaser taken on and explored much more through the new ten track encounter.

breathe-artwork   Breathe opens with What You Wanted and an emotive touch of piano quickly joined by the enticing voice of Gates. Almost as quickly keys spread a melodic breeze as electric enterprise courts the emerging body of the song and a heart which flames through the increasingly gripping tones of Gates and the imaginative tempting cast by Gorham. There is a feel of Danish band Forever Still to the song, its rock intensity and milder melodic warmth a tantalising union continuing to enthral across the album in varying designs.

The electronically stringed and orchestral dawning of second song Damage Done is equally as engrossing, its charm and elegance alone aural magnetism which continues to lure as guitar and keys brew up a more volatile but controlled wind around Gates. The track eclipses its predecessor overall, leaving a rich enjoyment in ears which is carried into the classically hued walls of A Light in the Dark. Similarly building flames of vocal and emotional energy within its reserved and elegant frame, the track is a hug on the senses, growing as the album, more powerfully persuasive and essential over time, as too the following thick croon of Empty Tomorrow and the harmonically heated Into the Night. The first of the two rousingly smoulders with its melody driven angst and nature, piano and electronic imagination as tempting as the vocals whilst its successor without quite emulating the other’s plateau of success, enslaves with that mesh of great vocals and another orchestral toned tapestry of suggestive sound. The song is nothing less than thick enjoyment but does show the strongest sign of the certainly surface similarity which lies upon Breathe. It is not a particular issue to be fair as closer investigation reveals the diversity at the heart of tracks but it is something to be hoped is less noticeable on, and already eagerly anticipated, future releases.

The emotively and vocally tenacious simmer of What’s Come Over Me holds ears and attention tight next whilst Falling Again seduces with its acoustic coaxing within the dark shadows which lace all tracks upon the album. It is a texture, as skilfully epitomised here, which thematically and musically lines the anthemic hearts and roars of all songs in their varying characters, and emulated again in the increasingly gripping infectiousness of Leave Me Broken, one of the big peaks, with its rhythmic agitation and blazing emotive tempest.

The album is brought to a fine close by firstly the tempestuously alluring Breathe In and finally A Warning, a bewitching caress of melodious tempting within a landscape of disentangled and emotionally unravelled melancholy. Gloriously provocative and stirringly imaginative, the track is a powerful end to a very enjoyable and perpetually impressive release, an album also loaded with the potential of even bolder and original things ahead which excites just as much.

Breathe may need a few listens to reveal all of its rich charm and persuasive power but the attention is fiercely rewarded as they join the list of bands to keep a heavily focused eye and ear on.

Breathe is out now via Independent Ear Records @

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

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