on February 24, 2010
As we've made our way well into the new year, I felt an urge to look back a few months to make sure I hadn't missed any good records. And I'm glad I did because as I was looking over some upcoming releases on Solid State's website (home of Oh Sleeper, Living Sacrifice and Gwen Stacy), my eyes crossed a release from October of last year that I hadn't noticed -- a little band with a not-so-little sound, better known as Inhale Exhale, and their most recent album, Bury Me Alive.
This quintet has a huge sound and more energy than you would get from a gallon of Redbull. So, in light of the more mellow metal I have been spending a lot of my time with recently, I was eager for a nice boost of brutality to re-energize my batteries and catch back up with these guys after almost two years.
Overall, these guys have a very basic hardcore sound to them -- nothing over the top or overly technical. Just good solid ear blasting melodies. Solid State has a knack in finding Christ-core bands, and I'm just giddy for `em all. Very similar to Haste The Day and Oh Sleeper, Inhale Exhale mash melody with metal, and are crackin' skulls along the way. Ryland's vocals are spot-on and his transitions between good and evil are very smooth, yet aggressive. Coupled with the musical mayhem led by guitarist LaRussa, you're in store for an earful of menacing guitar riffs that are sure to piss off your neighbors.
The album opens on a song called "Rooms" which offers up some decent chugging guitar riffs and nice drum fills. A very basic by-the-book metalcore song. It's not anything to turn your nose up at, but it's not their best track, either. The next few songs follow that same flow -- a lot of chugging and heavy breakdowns. Ryland stays heavy vocally and they don't give up a lot of melody, but they are still good solid tunes.
I feel like they really open up in track six, "Intentions." Those who know my style will understand, from the first note, why this is the side of Inhale Exhale that appealed to me more. It's here where Ryland really opens up vocally, showing his range. Musically, they offer up more melody and hooks to their riffs, which I think are very infectious. From here on out, they lose the low-end chug and offer up faster paced riffs with a little more depth. They don't lose the edge; they just brighten it up and give you a little more to move around to, rather than just sitting there bobbing your head. The problem is, at this point, we are already more than halfway through the record. Honestly, I was expecting more at this point.
I could do without track nine, "Better Than Me," because it's a little too anti-climatic for my taste. Song ten, "Thin Black Lines," is a heavy, upbeat, punch dancing kind of song. Their closer, "An Era," is by far one of my faves (aside from "Intentions"). This is a big, beastly song to end the album. I always like albums that go out with a bang -- and that's just what they do here.
So in closing, what did I think of Inhale Exhale's most current release, Bury Me Alive? I can't say I enjoyed it as much as 2008's I Swear, but it was a pretty good listen. They have the basics down, but with this being their third album, I think they could have been a little more brazen and maybe stepped outside of the box a little. I'm not hating on this album at all, because I did enjoy it, but feel as though they moved backwards. They have the sound and the talent, but it's not just about breaking skulls -- it's about breaking ground, too. I think they could have taken a few more chances.
on January 31, 2010
While their second release had some good songs this one blows it out of the water for sure! Songs like "A dark place for your mind to be", "intentions", and "rooms" make this a really solid listen for hard core/screamo fans. It has more melody too then the last one, which is good for guys like me who like a mixture of melody and screamo. The lyrics are okay but I was actually hoping for more Christian lyrics like the first album. But they are def not bad. There's a positive theme running through this album. Just read the lyrics for most of the songs and you'll see what I mean. It's just not a strong Christian release, which will probably get the band more fans who aren't Christians or religious.
But for the most part this is a good listen. The guitars are chunky and hard hitting and the vocals go from intense screams to emotional singing nicely. For screamo/emo/hard core!
Tracks to download: intentions, dark place for your mind to be, better her than me, rooms, fiction
on December 18, 2009
If this is your first Inhale Exhale album, you won't be disappointed. Original and edgy. The vocals and the melodies are great, as always. But they've done something different with the guitars on this album. They are either toned down (not cool) or it's the fact that they are trying a slightly different sound - which sounds less powerful to me... almost muffled. It's still worth buying, just turn the volume up on your stereo if you were just listening to a previous album.
on August 8, 2010
The first cd kicked total ass and had some great guitar licks and wasn't just hardcore or "metalcore." It had some genuine traditional "metal" and was a solid album. Once they lost their guitarist that wrote all the good music they lost their original sound that made them awesome and they got hardcore and now sounds generic with muddy riffs and poorly constructed songs. This cd falls into the order of succession of being their 3rd release and therefor their 3rd best and it's booooring. I guess I'm either too old school of a metal head and just like good metal or it's just a sound that puts even an insomniac to sleep and needs the true metal influence injected back in. Sorry all of you metalcore fans but when you're gonna play metal, play it good. Any band with a true metal influence playing metal will always be good, including Avenged Sevenfold. This is just getting stagnant. 4 out of 5 metalcore listeners will grow out of that scene and will get back to listening to good metal and the remainder will work part time at a gas station, unmarried and angry for the rest of his life.
on October 31, 2009
Inhale Exhale's new album "Bury Me Alive" is melodic and brutal at the same time. expect a beatdown on your ears. the vocals sound like alot of metalcore bands that I have heard, but the guitarwork sounds like metalcore mixed with power metal (e.g. Zao and HammerFall). these guys don't disappoint, although this is the first time I have heard them. maybe these guys have invented a new genre (power metalcore?). these guys may be a metalcore band, but they have solos, and lead vocalist Ryland Raus does clean vocals and shouts. I think I may go back to their back catalogue and get some more of their albums. this band has a tad of melody without sounding poppy.
on January 7, 2013
With this their third release they continue with the raw power of the first two releases, but with the new bassist (Greg Smith) and Christopher "Gator" Carroll : Drums they sport a deeper sound. I have followed Inhale Exhale since The Lost, the Sick, the Sacred. I love this 2009 release. From the first punch of “Rooms” to the last crunch of “An Era” the ride is very extreme!!!! If you are a metal head buy it, you will love it too!