Review: Breath ‘Primeval Transmissions’

A two man bass and drums doom set up from the Pacific North West and it isn’t Big Business? Colour me interested! Oregon’s Breath bring the psychedelica on their debut full length, Primeval Transmissions, and they’ve been journeying in some dark and mysterious woods (both metaphorically and physically) in order to draw out some of the most strangely relaxing doom you’ll hear this year. It is out now through Desert Records.

Breath 'Primeval Transmissions'

If I had to sum up this record in a couple of words, it’d be meditative doom. But apparently there’s a word count and writing integrity, as such there will be more. Opener Evocation has a lovely wandering bass that provides a soothing low end for you to slip into a stupor during. It’s remarkably relaxing, and even when the vocals hove into view, it does nothing to lift the trance. If you prefer your stoner doom to be a bit more raucous, this may be the wrong place for you to start, although that heavily distorted solo does deserve a mention. Dwarka is hypnotising in its repetition for the first while, before another rumbling solo comes in and takes over.

like a vision quest through hazy deserts and sleepy skies to a place of ultimate psychedelic revelation…

Observer throbs with bass power, and when the psych guitar lines slide in around the three minute mark it gets very trippy. That psychedelic edge runs deep in the mammoth Battle For Harmonic Balance/Halls Of Amenti, a journey through shamanistic groove and ritualistic fuzz. It definitely feels spiritual but not in a way that we’d understand, more in an ancient earthen way that is beyond living memory. We end with a reprise of the opening Evocation, which if anything is now the comedown from the places we’ve visited on this record.

Primeval Transmissions will appeal directly to fans of OM, Sleep and Yob, but to be honest anyone who likes their music heavy but oddly relaxing should give this a go. Breath‘s work is mesmerising, and it feels like a vision quest through hazy deserts and sleepy skies to a place of ultimate psychedelic revelation. Tune in, drop out and float away.

Label: Desert Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson