August Burns Red
Memphis May Fire
Tracklist1. "Rooms" - 3:23
2. "Did You Ever Have A Touch To Lose" - 3:12
3. "Condemned" - 3:49
4. "Over And Out" - 3:50
5. "A Dark Place For Your Mind To Be" - 4:12
6. "Intentions" - 3:52
7. "Explosions" - 3:56
8. "Fiction" - 3:54
9. "Better Her Than Me" - 3:31
10. "Thin Black Lines" - 2:02
11. "An Era" - 3:08
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Inhale Exhale have released three full lengths so far on Solid State Records. I admit I haven’t really paid attention to much Solid State has put out lately. Christian metalcore is not really my forte, I believe music is music besides what message you are trying to convey but lately Solid State hasn’t really been doing it for me. Inhale Exhale are not really treading new ground with this release, but what can you really expect from a band who are walking the same path that bands like Underoath and Norma Jean already laid waste to. Devin Townsend mixed this CD and at points it has a very Misery Signals (Of Malice and the Magnum Heart era MS, that is) feel to it.
The album begins with the track “Rooms.” It is filled with heavy guitars and also has a very Every Time I Die feel to it. The band, consisting of Ryland Raus (vocals), John LaRussa (guitar), Chris Carroll (drums), and Greg Smith (bass), do a rather good job at keep the instrumentation tight and focused, never really losing place of where the song needs to go. Though somewhat repetitive there is no shortage of breakdowns and heavy chugging riffs. Although this is supposedly the heaviest Inhale Exhale record yet, the dissonance and abundant breakdowns become bland and overly predictive. I can recall a time where I tried to start a band and when we couldn’t think of how to connect two parts of the song together the utterance, “How about a breakdown?” reared its ugly head too many times. Forgive us for we have sinned at our young age, and we now know breakdowns are to be used sparingly. Inhale Exhale could have benefitted from backing off on the copious amount of breakdowns as a lot of the songs would have been better without them.
Bury My Alive has another flaw, being that the lyrics appear to be forced and rather uninspired. The obvious religious overtones are definitely there and really do nothing for creating any sort of depth. See the track “Explosion” for a good example of what I am talking about.
The band is labeled as experimental hardcore on their MySpace profile, however, I hardly see the experimental aspect -- slow tracks with clean vocals leading to heavy breakdowns is nothing new. In addition the song “Thin Black Lines” is very out of place and the faux anthem feel to it falls flat. Possibly it should have been placed further to one end of the track listing.
With metalcore becoming pretty manufactured it is tough to really tread new ground. Inhale Exhale will appeal to those who enjoy today’s metalcore. There are plenty of breakdowns, overly manufactured drum sounds, and guttural vocals followed by clean ones to keep the genre fans happy. The detuned guitars will keep the kids moshing until the break of dawn. But for those that expect something new from the kids coming up through the metalcore ranks, better luck next time. Go listen to an old Converge record and call it a day.