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breathoflife whisperingfields
Artist: The Breath Of Life
Title: Whispering Fields
Genre: Goth / Dark Rock
Release Date: 7th September 2012
Label: Danse Macabre

Album Review

‘Whispering Fields’ is not only a very strong and poetic picture, but also the title of the new album of Belgium’s THE BREATH OF LIFE, one of the most persistent and reliable bands of the European Goth scene. But some historic facts at first:

THE BREATH OF LIFE started about 25 years ago, in 1989, as a energetic Dark Rock/ Goth outfit, focused on the vocals of front woman Isabelle Dekeyser. In 1990, the band placed their first mark with a 10 song demo, followed by a tour through Belgium, France and Czechoslovakia, whose pinnacle became an almost sold out show at the Bunkr in Prague, captured on the first fulltime output ‘Live in Praha’ in 1992. The first studio album ‘Painful Insanity’ followed the same year, produced by Gilles Martin, who worked with bands like TUXEDOMOON and dEUS, a collaboration that continued on their second album ‘Taste of Sorrow’ in 1994, a year what became a caesura of their career by signing a record deal with Hall of Sermon and playing shows with names like COCTEAU TWINS, MIRANDA SEX GARDEN and LOVE LIKE BLOOD.

Their diligent life activities combined with the quality of their following albums caused a growing popularity and during the nineties the band’s name appeared in a lot of festival billings like the Zillo Festival, Sommertage and Whitby. The new millennium saw the band going on touring throughout Europe, only interrupted by the work in the studio, which led to two further albums in 2000 and 2005. And so, ‘Whispering Fields’ marks the end of a 7 year break (in what the band wasn’t lazy at all, touring through East-Europe and writing new songs) and with a new label in the back (Danse Macabre) THE BREATH OF LIFE is ready to enter the European stages again these days.

But let’s enter the fields now…

The band’s eighth album became a very intense one, exuding a compact and complex atmosphere from the very first note of its opener. Wafting keyboards come upon dark and velvet basses, whipped by straight and unswerving drums. The guitars love to change the costumes, coming along as edgy cuts in the surface once and as a prismatic twinkle another time. Adorned with some electronic dabs, the songs try to embrace a wide scenery of moods, from a vulnerable fragility (Holy Shrine) to a tempting melancholy (Shadows in the sky) and from an orchestral buoyancy (The Souls remain) to an impelling restlessness. But despite of that, the primary colour and navigating element of the music is the voice of Isabelle Dekeyser.

Like a sun it thrones in the sky, painting all with its light, relative to its altitude. It’s hard to describe her timbre, oscillating somewhere between shades of Liz Frasier and Monica Richards, evoking some kind of spirituality, that seems to baptize every song’s essence. Unfortunately it’s this constant abeyance, that causes a monotony after a while. It blurs the contrasts between the songs and veils their autonomy. On the one hand this gives ‘Whispering Fields’ a feeling of compactness, an appearance completely rounded, but on the other hand it induces a lack of concentration after a few songs, a lack of variation.

So, ‘Whispering Fields’ is an album with some great songs, which create a convincing atmosphere and a stirring energy, powerful and solid, but it goes astray in its own spiritual landscape, loses its direction and seems to run in circles. Like a repeating experience, that gets rid of its impact after a while… an impressing, but permanent Déjà-vu…


01. The Dark Side
02. Forgotten Sins
03. Cutting Wings
04. Holy Shrine
05. Shadows In The Sky
06. To The Wild
07. Sanctum
08. The Souls Remain
09. Waving To Shades
10. Invocation
11. Your Whisperings
12. Nasty Cloud 2012
13. Nasty Cloud - Acoustic


Isabelle Dekeyser – Vocals
Giovanni Bortolin – Keyboards, Violin
Didier Czepczyk – Guitars, Programming
Benoit Sokay – Bass
Marc Haerden – Drums


Cover Picture

breathoflife whisperingfields


Music: 6
Sound: 7
Total: 6.5 / 10

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