Atlanta duo Breakthrough Even may have been unlikely candidates to become a hard-hitting metal band. Twins Josh and Zach Turner freely admit to being “massive nerds playing video games all the time” as kids, but the discovery of Linkin Park’s debut album sent them down an exciting musical path.
The duo offer up an engaging modern metal sound powered by booming riffs and rhythms. However, these are supplemented by delicious atmospheric synths and a focus on creating strong melodies – all of which drives their aim of creating “a huge sonic landscape.”
The band began life as a five-piece, whittling down to a quartet before eventually the twins pressed ahead as a duo with Zach on drums and Josh playing guitar. They use collaborations with other artists to complement their instrumentals, including Baltimore vocalist Mike Semesky and the Christina Rotondo, the vocalist of our former New Band of the Week Adelyn.
Rotondo’s talents are present in Breathrough Even’s most recent single Requiem, which was originally written by former member Josh Curl and was four years in the making before finally seeing the light of day. And it was well worth the wait.
Requiem opens up with a fun darting riff and hanging synth sounds that continue under a blast of heavy drums. That gives way to a mellow verse led by Christina’s recognisable vocals, with the guitars gradually intensifying.
That feeds into a big singalong chorus “We’re dreaming of purpose, Losing ourselves in moments of discovery, Hoping to justfy all the light around us, We’re blinded by all that may hold the key, What is true sadness? To be lost in the sea of all we know, What is true madness? To believe we know what it means to be alone.” The big opening riff and atmospheric synths return and drop into a more lively second verse.
A second chorus drops into a chilled section of light guitars then a building guitar feeds into Christina’s big vocals and more powerful chugging guitars and atmospheric instrumentals. That feeds into a final blast of the catchy chorus. Check it out in the lyric video below.
Rotondo is also present on last year’s stunning single Omen, which opens up with atmospheric guitars and a big booming smash of lower tuned guitars and drums. Christina’s vocals come in alongside an awesome driving riff and big atmospheric synths. Those instrumentals continue through an engaging chorus and straight into an upbeat second verse.
The big hanging synths give it somewhat of a chilling feel, alongside the crushing guitars, which feel a little lower tuned than on Requiem, and powerful drums. Give it a listen here:
We also love the sound of Charlatan Dreams, which offers another dynamic to the Breakthrough Even sound with Semesky on vocals. It’s a little heavier, largely in part to Semesky’s powerful screamed vocals, with the big haunting synths still prominent alongside chugging guitars and driving drums. Give it a listen here:
We had a chat with Josh and Zach to find out more about the band, its origins, their musical backgrounds, and what they’ve got coming up. Read on below…
GR: Who are Breakthrough Even?
Zach: “We’re a duo from Atlanta, Georgia consisting of myself and my twin brother Josh. To be honest, we never really grew up in a musical environment or have a deep background based in music. We are massive nerds, so growing up we were the kids sitting in our rooms playing video games all the time.
“Regarding our musical taste, we were never really too invested in any one artist or rock or metal in general until Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory dropped. This was a huge turning point for us in our early teens and was a gateway for us into more alternative and heavier genres of music.
“Around our freshman year of high school we eventually decided to start learning these instruments that our mom had bought us several months before. I play drums and Josh plays guitar. After a few years of jamming with each other and friends we decided to start a band and wanted to attempt to write our own original music. The original line up was a five piece. It consisted of our previous long time vocalist, Noel Velazquez, bassist Kerry Love, and guitarist Jamey Sudduth. Eventually it turned into a four piece with the departure of Kerry and Jamey and the addition of guitarist/bassist Josh Curl. Over time, he and Noel went on to pursue their own endeavors and we eventually became what you see now.”
GR: You just released Requiem. What should people be expecting from the song? And how did the collab with Christina come about?
Josh: “People should expect a heavy, very melodically driven song. Last year I read a Chinese science fiction book called The Three Body Problem from author Liu Cixin. It had a lot of themes regarding the state of the world, humanity and its politics, and intelligent civilizations, so when I was writing the lyrics for Requiem I pulled a lot of elements and imagery from that.
“The collaboration with Christina came from our existing relationship with her that started with our previous single Omen. We had this old demo sitting around that we thought may be a great fit for her voice. We sent it over to her and she loved the idea, so we then spent several weeks sending vocal ideas back and forth and getting different sections completed at different times. We ended up using simple piano MIDI to work out melodies and they were pretty much done before I even finished writing the lyrics!”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
Both: “Heavy, melodic. Constantly evolving.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
Josh: “I usually draw a lot of influence from other music, tv shows or books that I’m into. There aren’t any specific themes or topics that I’m drawn to writing about, but I do like to try to explore abstract ideas more often as I usually find them more interesting.”
Zach: “Yeah, usually just how I am feeling from things going on in my life and the current things I’m currently into whether it be a show, movie, or video game. Certain scenes or characters from those mediums can inspire me and so I can usually channel that into a set of lyrics or a certain sound I want to go for when writing.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
Josh: “Linkin Park, for sure. Their music is what inspired us to start learning how to play music and they’re what got us started listening to and exploring heavier music. These days I’m really into more modern metal/’djent’ bands like Monuments, Periphery, and Skyharbor. These bands all have super heavy, very rhythmically driven sounds, but also a very strong melodic sense and that’s a balance I’ve always wanted to achieve in my own music.”
Zach: “Yeah, definitely Linkin Park. Just a huge influence on how we approach and write our music and just the sheer inspiration we draw from their medium. For me personally, I’m just a huge fan of melody and prefer a huge sonic landscape. If a song or artist feature those qualities then I’ll usually be able to find something to draw influence or inspiration from.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020? New music, new gigs, recording etc…?
Zach: “Right now we are just focused on finishing up some demos and exploring different ideas and sounds we want to utilize in our future material. Our sound has shifted and evolved slightly over time while retaining the heavier, melodic elements and so naturally I think that will continue. Unfortunately with the industry at a standstill, we can’t play shows. In time we hope to start playing live again! It’s always been my favorite aspect of being an artist.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
Zach:” Nothing we can think of, just know that we appreciate each and every listen! Super grateful to have the opportunity to write and play music and to even have the chance to speak with outlets like you guys at GigRadar! So thank you! We love for people to connect with us on the various platforms we are on also, so feel free to stop by and say hey!”