In a world where hardcore bands are becoming more and more the subject of mediocrity and sameness, the loyal fans need a hero. An album to be a shining light in the dark of generic breakdowns and guttural vocals. After a few listens I can safely say that Inhale Exhale’s latest release, Movement, is not that album.
Now I’ve listened to past efforts by this band and enjoyed them. This time, however, I often find myself cringing at the problems that mar this album, the biggest being how disjointed all of the songs are. Many, if not all of them, follow a formula: heavy start, clean vocal chorus, breakdown, clean vocal chorus, breakdown, repeat. The best example of this would be the album opener “Aesthetics.” The transitions from one form of vocals to the next are so jarring that I didn’t actually know I was listening to the next song “Party Drama” until a minute and a half into it. Most other songs on the album give the listeners a similar experience.
The high point of this album is the “Low” point. (I’m so clever) The intro to “Low” contains what is by far my favourite guitar work. This is also a song where the clean vocals are transitioned into well, albeit they are few in number on this track. The following track “Carpe Diem” is also one of the album’s better offerings.
The main problem with the way the songs on this album are constructed is that the jarring transitions kept me from getting into any of the songs. Even at points where I really enjoyed what I was hearing, they’d drop it immediately for a breakdown I could have sworn I’d heard on the previous track. There are also times on the album when it does not seem to be the band’s fault because some of the mixing just wasn’t done quite right.
One thing I will say is that this is a fantastic album for those who are really into moshing. Given that the songs are almost entirely a breakdown, the avid mosher can slam into people all he wants with intermittent reprieve a la the clean vocal chorus. That being said, I’m sure this band is an experience to see live.
Long-time fans of this band will most likely be disappointed with Movement, as it lacks what past albums like The Lost, The Sick, The Sacred had. This album has more cons than pros; largely because of how the songs were constructed, it does not allow for listeners to really get into any of them. Movement will fall under the category of “Generic Hardcore Albums” that overpopulate the genre.