Album Review :
Inhale Exhale - Movement

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Band: Inhale Exhale
Album: Movement
Label: Red Cord Records
Release: 10/9/12
Reviewer: Brody B

  1. Aesthetics
  2. Party Drama
  3. A Poise For Poison
  4. Mirage in the Middle of Summer
  5. The Collectors
  6. Low
  7. Carpe Diem
  8. Ain’t No Trip to Cleveland
  9. See You Later
  10. Under Sheets Stained in Blood

Inhale Exhale has always been a band that had a soft spot in my heart. I can not count how many times I have defended them against friends who just wrote them off as generic metalcore. I would always make a case for the underlying instrumental technicality and the sheer passion front man Ryland Raus brings to the table. “Movement” is no different in bringing the things I have always loved about Inhale Exhale back after a 3 year hiatus.

The first thing I noticed about “Movement”, which is it’s largest downfall, was the production. While not bad per say the production is just a little weird for lack of better term. The bass and guitars are very muffled while the bass drum is seemingly the lead instrument. Vocal wise, Raus’ voice has a distinct live quality to it as there is no hint of being studio enhanced. While I am a huge fan of  the drums provided by Tony Saffell, I found them to be a bit overwhelming for my taste mostly because they distracted me from focusing on the other instruments at times.

On the other hand, the feeling given off from the vocals works in Raus’ favor tremendously. I have always found Ryland Raus to be one of the best front men in the industry because of his energy is unreal vocal range. “Movement” truly showcases these strong points and allows the listener to feel as though they should be wearing a poncho for fear of getting doused by a tsunami of sweat and spit from the front man.

Production aside, “Movement” is some of the band’s strongest material. This record is not only the heaviest, but also the most technical. Party Drama finds axeman John LaRussa giving his fingers a workout for the whole duration of the song. From pummeling breakdowns to intricate riffs that most other bands with the luxury of two guitarists would struggle to play.

A Poise for Poison is a song the band seemed to write just to make the listener feel dumb as they go from head banging to swaying back to violently thrashing as the band effortlessly transitions from mellow meandering to some of the heaviest sections on the record. The chorus of this song sounds like something that would not be uncommon to be found on top 25 radio, while the rest of the song is so vicious it would have the average radio listener scurrying for cover.

The Collectors is a fun thrash induced song that breaks out of the mold of singing and screaming at preconceived times that most of Inhale Exhale’s other songs tend to follow and seems to truly let Raus and the gang experiment with where they decide to be tame and where they want to unleash chaos. The fact that the song is about an alien invasion seems to help it gain the title as the most fun track on the album. I still can not help but head bang as Raus bellows, “You are not on solid ground anymore!” during the bridge of the song. Equally as enthralling as the previously mentioned track, Ain’t No Trip To Cleveland is a rambunctious display of rowdy riffage as LaRussa proves to be a one man wrecking crew, splintering his fretboard with furious dexterity.

While at first, See You Later rubbed me the wrong way with its’ inherently cheesy breakdown of, “See you later/ MUCH!”, after numerous listens, the song became a favorite. Slightly immature lyrics fall to the wayside because of how much skill they are delivered with, similar to the freedom found in The Collectors.

It seems that at moments when Inhale Exhale strays from the path of what is comfortable for them is when they shine the most. The chorus of A Poise for Poison is far more pop induced than the band has ever touched before, and that helps that part really stick in the listener’s head. The Collectors and See You Later both benefit greatly from a refreshing freedom that comes from the band experimenting with song structure. Instead of the typical pattern found in the majority of their other songs, these two make the biggest impression both musically and vocally as both vocal chords and music are not limited to where they go.

Overall: Inhale Exhale make a great comeback after their hiatus, seemingly never missing a stride since their last album. In fact, it’s almost like a lot of the songs were written at the same time as the tracks from “Bury Me Alive”. While more growth and experimentation from such a mature band would certainly have been welcome, this band still manages to hit a soft spot for me and create incredibly fun and passionate music. Even if it isn’t the most original, “Movement” is a great collection of songs to herald Inhale Exhale back into action.

RIYL: I Am Alpha & Omega, Destroy the Runner, Haste the Day