Review: Made of Breath Only – sleepmakeswaves

An absolute masterclass in musicianship, Made of Breath Only is the first truly flawless album of 2017. Scaling the near impossible heights of Dream Theater at their most technically dazzling, sleepmakeswaves are a showcase of artists performing at their absolute peak. A knockout! Even better, It’s an AUSTRALIAN knockout!

Rare is the day when an album, especially one that is instrumental, grabs you from the opening moments and keeps you enthralled throughout its entirety with sparkling displays of technical wizardry, songwriting virtuosity and oozing soundscapes. Sydney locals sleepmakeswaves have done just that with their 3rd outing Made of Breath Only, an album that not only delivers on singular tracks but as a complete piece.

From the opening seconds of Our Days Were Polar, there is a grandiose and splendour to this production that runs throughout the entire album. Alongside the aforementioned reference to Dream Theater, Made of Breath Only is all about exploring sounds and atmosphere. Like a sonic jolt to the spine, akin to listening to Tool’s Lateralus, this album is an experiential piece with nods to the greats of Satriani, Vai, and Petrucci without ever being afraid to drop the overdrive and pump out some gut busting progressive rock. The epicness swells, the intimacy entrances and, above all, the creative mastery shines.

The biggest and instantly noticeable feature of Made of Breath Only is how in sync and dynamic these musicians are. It feels effortless, it feels expert, and most notably, it sounds incredible. These guys clearly worked these tracks and had an absolute blast making this.

The driving Worlds Away, the light and shade To Light and Then Return, the thumping Tundra, the sweeping epic The Edge of Everything, to title track Made of Breath Only‘s weeping piano, the atmosphere-dripping Glacial, to the stand out closer Hailstones…These are but some of the treasures to be found here. Not a foot is put wrong on any of these tracks.

For Alex Wilson (Bass + Piano), Otto Wicks-Green (Guitar), Daniel Oreskovic (Guitar), and Tim Adderley (Skins), the quartet that make up sleepmakeswaves, this album signifies not only how strongly they play off each other but also how each element is given consideration. Each discipline is given fair notice throughout the course of Made of Breath Only and it’s a refreshingly welcome one.

If you were ever wondering whether the independent creative heart of Australian music had stopped, or was limping, or had little sign of life.. sleepmakeswaves have that well and truly answered for you with this.

A stunning work and truly the first flawless album of 2017, Made of Breath Only is a masterclass in musicianship. It’s the best album to come out of Australia in years and, as an instrumental work, is astoundingly accessible to everyone. I cannot praise this highly enough – this album is a masterpiece! GET ON IT!