Inhale Exhale - Bury Me Alive
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Since 2006, Inhale Exhale have released three full-lengths on Solid State Records. While 2006’s The Lost. The Sick. The Sacred. and 2008’s I Swear… were respectable releases, Bury Me Alive blows all of Inhale Exhale’s previous work out of the water. Sticking to the Christian brand of metalcore that Solid State have become frontrunners in, Inhale Exhale find plenty of room to grow within the genre, pushing their creative limits outward while looking inward to create a memorable and relatable eleven track album.
The album begins with the two-headed beast of “Rooms” and “Did You Ever Have the Touch to Lose?,” two tracks that open similarly, but veer off in very different directions. “Roads” contains the only hint of gang vocals on the entire album, but they are begging to be shouted back at the band at shows. Too many of these can become gimmicky, and Inhale Exhale’s sparse use of them shows their commitment to making worthwhile, memorable music. “Did You Ever Have the Touch to Lose?” has a great lyrical base, which is backed by the exceptional guitar turned in by John LaRussa, who is the band’s main songwriter to boot.
Bury Me Alive begins to hit its strongest point with the third track, “Condemned,” which starts off much like the first two tracks, hitting hard and keeping a foot firmly pressed on the gas pedal. However, “Condemned” begins to sway the album’s direction immensely, as it is the first outward display of vocalist Ryland Raus’s clean singing, rather than his deep, powerful screams. The segue from Raus’s screams dominating the tracks to the reliance on his singing continues in “Over and Out” and “A Dark Place For Your Mind to Be,” which both begin to prove Raus’s talents as a singer, the latter being easily one of the strongest tracks on Bury Me Alive.
With the entire metalcore genre placed under a microscope to find a little originality (which has become harder to find), Inhale Exhale do a very good job spacing themselves from the pack on quite a few instances on Bury Me Alive. As stated before, the instrumentation throughout the entire album is fresh, hard-hitting, and very creative. Inhale Exhale do a great job of switching up song structures, as seen in “Intentions,” which starts off with Raus’s singing rather than his screams (which certainly breaks the mold of the typical Inhale Exhale song), and the song stands out because of it. In an attempt to add a new wrinkle to the themes of their songs, which are based around their faith, “Fiction” follows a storyline accompanied by emotionally-driven lyrics, while the album closer “An Era” takes the beaten-to-death theme of ending an era when ending an album and tries to add its own twist to it. Though their delivery and execution of this is questionable, the band deserves credit for having the stones to trying to push their boundaries.
Though it is certainly a record to be proud of, Bury Me Alive does not go without its flaws. At times, the lyrics seem a little cheesy and forced, with “Explosion" being the obvious culprit. The band also falls into the trend of having a token slower-than-normal song with “Better Her Than Me,” and the listener is punished for it. Though the song’s lyrics are arguably the album’s strongest, the band fails to exploit their creativity as musicians to put their stamp on the song. “Thin Black Lines” feels a little out of place, and its anthemic feel would have been more well-received if it were the album’s first song rather than its second-to-last. The band also reverts back to breakdowns at quite a few points, and though many of them hit hard, a few of them are unnecessary, and the songs would be better without them. However, since this is a metalcore record, most of them will be very highly endorsed by fans hungry for moshing.
Though there are a few flaws in the lyrical content and creativity, Bury Me Alive is still a creative and worthwhile record. The eleven tracks are just enough to satisfy fans who’ve been with the band since The Lost. The Sick. The Sacred., but also just enough to leave fans wanting more by the end of “An Era.” Though Bury Me Alive is Inhale Exhale’s third full-length in four years, there are no signs of the band hitting a substantial road block in their creativity and talent as musicians, and there are plenty of signs to show metal fans everywhere that the band’s best is yet to come.
Nice review buddy!. I'm glad they didnt just fade of into mediocrity like It Dies Today with Lividity.
I always thought these guys had alot of talent .They just arent promoted very well but good for them. now im gono go give this a listen.
thanks for posting this.