Raging hardcore with violins is the headspinningly brilliant sound of music’s future

(Image credit: Respire/Bancamp)

Here’s the elevator pitch for why you should listen to Respire:

They make post-hardcore with violins.

That got your attention, didn’t it?

In December, the raging Canadians release their third album, Black Line, and it is mental in all the right ways. It follows 2018’s magnificent Dénouement, which uniquely blended raging screamo with emotive orchestral backing.

That album was so immense it needed 15 people to make it, and so multifaceted that the string elements even enjoyed a standalone release all to themselves. It took all the rage of punk and the sorrow of post-rock and put them into structures that felt like classical movements more than songs.

Somehow, Black Line is even more batshit, tapping into the extended realms of black metal, metalcore and spoken-word music. At the drop of the hat, barraging blast beats and tremolo-picked nastiness can diffuse into serene, ambient segues, all while heartstring-plucking violins serenade in the background.

The album is an ebbing and flowing dance between so many aggressive avenues, yet it always returns to a more sorrowful soundscape to remain consistent.

It‘s unlikely you’ll ever hear a post-hardcore journey quite like this, but you’ll be so much better off when you do.

Black Line is released on December 4 via Church Road. Check out lead single Tempest on Bandcamp.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.