Through Fire was first known under the name Emphatic. Founded by guitarist-songwriter Justin McCain in 2004. Their major label debut record ‘Damage’ for Atlantic reached No. 9 on Billboard Top Heatseekers chart in 2011. From 2012-2014 Toryn Green (Fuel, Apocalyptica ) took over vocal duties. The band made headlines again when their second album Another Life climbed to No. 8 on Top Heatseekers chart in 2013. Grant Joshua Kendrick stepped back up and took over the vocals in 2014. He had filled in previously for singer Patrick Wilson when he had a vocal injury. It was a couple years later when Emphatic announced they were changing their name and continuing as Through Fire in December 2015. They on with Sumerian Records and released their debut record in 2016. ‘Breathe’ was the band’s debut under their new name. It released in July 2016. From here on business was back to normal as the band was right back to topping the charts. Their debut single “Stronger” peaked in the top 30 on the mainstream rock chart. Fast forward to 2017 and the band has now released a deluxe edition of the album and included several acoustic tracks and an amazing cover. The original version of the album spanned 10 tracks, included 9 original tracks (including an intro track titled “Reborn”) and a cover of Ellie Goulding’s electropop anthem, “Lights.” The title track, “Breathe” has reached #16 on the billboard charts. The deluxe edition of ‘Breathe’ released on April 7th which includes five bonus songs, alternate artwork and a guitar tab booklet. Trust me that these 5 tracks is well worth getting the deluxe edition of the album.
The acoustic version of “Breathe” is just a hauntingly emotion rendition of the song. The original version was incredible, but there is something about the somber finesse that acoustics bring into a song. Grant Kendrick’s voice is front and center as he gives one of his best efforts on this song. His voice has a varying tone as well. At times its a pure melodic sing along and when its necessary he brings a little roughness to his tone. The delivery of some of the lyrics are made even better simply by the way he articulates the words with his vernacular. There is something about the way Justin McCain plays an acoustic guitar that still brings a heaviness to a song. His talents soar on each and every track. 5 seconds into the track “Breakout” you could easily name that tune and band blindfolded. Through Fire have an iconic style that is easy hear. Their unwavering guitar riffs, groovy beats and bass lines and the raw gravely vocals give them superiority over other modern rock/metal bands. “Damage” brings a little bit of an industrial sound to the bands style. It’s not something you hear on every track so it is appealing to change things up. One thing you can pinpoint from Through Fire’s sound is a strong nu-metal influence. It may not be as in your face nu-metal as some late 90’s early 2000’s era bands but its still there. Most of us can recall the 2011 hit “Jar Of Hearts” by Christina Perri. I know I’ve painstakingly had the song stuck in my head at times. When Through Fire decided to cover this song I was a little apprehensive. However, they were able to turn this song into something of pure enjoyment. They created a grittiness to song that previously was clean and melodic from start to finish. There is still moments of melody and the band has a the skills of a master chef in mixing equal parts of raw and grit sound against the melodies of the track. The chorus of the song begins as a beautiful melodic approach and ends with a gut wrenching scream. Their is even some guitar solo work throughout the cover that shows the band can add additional composition to an already established song. It’s always appealing to hear a band totally break down a song and make it their own and that is truly what has happened here. They have taken a song far far from the rock and metal world and put that heavy metal thunder stamp or approval on it. Through Fire added immense depth and enjoyment with the additions to this deluxe release. If you picked up the original album, or even if you didn’t this album is waiting to be heard, enjoyed and repeated several times over.
Through Fire is on tour the majority of the summer along with some incredibly talented bands. Catch them on the road if you have the opportunity.