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Inhale Exhale - Bury Me Alive (Solid State Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[7/10] Is there anything worse than Christian metalcore? Such a question has been posed to this scribe on a handful of occasions from a close confident whose name shall be spared, but it does have legs. There’s a truckload of these bands and most of them (God…where to begin?) have taken this five year-plus trend and have proceeded to run it into the ground. Then there’s whole discussion over lyrical content. But we won’t get too deep here – that’s a story of biblical proportions for another day.

Bury Me Alive, the third offering from Canton, Ohio-based Inhale Exhale works around a lot of the subgenre’s faultlines, emerging as more of snappy, ragged record than the haphazard display it could have been. Having Devin Townsend at the production helm couldn’t hurt and when the band keeps the whiny/EMO vocals to a minimum, the results are inspired…frenzied, even.

The foundation for Inhale Exhale exists in the Norma Jean/Underoath spazz-metal pantheon and it’s on full display during opener “Rooms.” There’s the prerequisite sideways angle to the band’s riffs and it props up songs like “Fiction,” and “Over and Out,” two of the real keepers here. Experimentation gets a run-through during the ill-fated “Better Her Than Me,” only to be saved by “Thin Black Lines,” which has the most girth of any of the album’s 11 songs.

Not a release of August Burns Red magnitude for Solid State, Bury Me Alive should insert itself nicely into the growing ranks of Christian metalcore. It’s a workmanlike affair, something the kids will no doubt dig, but past that, it’s a crapshoot, one that will probably fail to get more than a passing glance from the more non-secular crowd.

www.myspace.com/inhaleexhale

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