The Breathing Process

The Breathing Process' second album, 'Odyssey: (Un)Dead,' continues the Connecticut band's style of splicing ambiently symphonic black metal with unfettered death metal. Beyond the expansive, rich and vicious sound, the album is a concept based on a person who takes the path of exile, and the lush, grand music is influenced by vast and often unforgiving natural landscapes, such as oceans, forests, plains, glaciers and deserts. In essence, the music is as big as Mother Nature's scope.

"When we came up with the concept, we wanted to focus the songwriting around the environments and kind of imagine, 'If I were in this place, what would it sound like?'" guitarist/vocalist Jordan Milner told Noisecreep. "The other important piece to the concept is that each of the environments has dual meaning, as they each represent a specific emotion in the human psyche.

"For example, the desert has three songs which represent isolation, endurance and death. Even though death isn't an emotion, it invokes emotion. There is also the fictional side to our story, about a man's journey on the path to exile and how love guides him to death. All of this balled into one album, which sounds kinda complicated, but if you actually read the lyric sheet, it makes sense. We could go on forever about the concept, but you have to hear it to figure it out."

The smartly-constructed album requires nothing more than a love of layered, blackened metal and an appreciation for meaning behind maelstrom. "We don't know how to classify our music," Milner said. "Obviously it's metal as f---, but we mix so many styles together, you can't really call it anything." He's right about that. TBP's music is unabashedly metallic, laced with pristine, icy beauty.

Milner continued, "We listen to a wide variety of music, so everyone contributes their piece into everything. If we had to call it something, it'd be 'blackened progressive death metal with a dash of electronics.' We have a little something for everyone in metal's 29,073,402,701,293,742,934 sub-genres. Our music is written completely from the heart, which is something that seems to be missing from a lot of bands these days."

Perhaps some of the majestic, ethereal qualities that are present in the Breathing Process' music come from the fact that vocalist John Lafreniere is an avid fan of Magic the Gathering, an otherworldly collectible card game. While the band's music isn't wizardly or folk-infused, it doesn't follow rules. "John actually competes in tournaments and dominates in most cases," Milner, who loves video games and says he can do some serious damage with 'Madden 2010,' said. And if you want to make guitarist Sara Loerlein smile -- sorta like the Hall and Oates song of the same name, bring a Cadbury Crème Egg to a show! She is obsessed with them," Milner admitted. "So if you ever want to put a huge smile on her face at a show, bring her some."

'Odyssey: (Un)Dead' is out March 9.