Album Review: Thousand Foot Krutch – Exhale

Thousand Foot Krutch, the hard rock/nu metal/rap metal mashup have returned with Exhale, which is the follow-up 2014’s Inhale, and also Part 2 of the OXYGEN companion albums. It’s been quite a while since I last listened to TFK, as they’re known to hardcore fans, most recently checking them out when Move was popular circa 2005, and that track definitely had a much different vibe compared to what I’m hearing on Exhale, and in my opinion, Exhale is very much a better genre for the band.

Exhale kicks off with Running With Giants, a track which immediately makes the listener think the band has been heavily inspired by any one of Chester Bennington’s projects, which is definitely not a bad thing. Incomplete, the album’s second track, is much heavier, however, and has a sound all its own, and is easily my favorite track from Exhale, though Give Up The Ghost and Off The Rails are close seconds. Speaking of Give Up The Ghost, this track brings back the feel of a Christian rock element that the band had a long, long time ago when I listened to them on the regular, so it’s nice to see they haven’t completely abandoned their roots while still managing to put an edgy spin on the genre.

While we’re talking about the Christian vibe TFK has always had, let’s talk about Honest. Honest is much more a Christian ballad than a nu metal/hard rock song, further proving that the band still has its heart in Christian rock while still venturing into nu/rap metal to create a balanced album that speaks volumes to who they are a band. Honest is right up there with the best tracks on the album, even though it’s a much different feel and sound than any other track, and really brings the entire thing together.

For the nu metal/rap metal part of TFK’s existence, they present us with tracks like Can’t Stop This, which really showcases the versatility of Trevor McNevan. Not every vocalist can transition from hard rock into a power ballad, and then throw in rap vocals on other tracks, but McNevan does this very well on Can’t Stop This, as well as other tracks, and it really gives the album a unique multi-genre vibe that not many bands can pull off.

The combination of nu metal and rap/rock vocals has worked for the better part of two decades for bands like Linkin Park and Korn, both of which pioneered the genre and made it possible for others, such as newcomers From Ashes To New, to follow in their footsteps, and it certainly works here for Thousand Foot Krutch. It’s a solid direction for a band that, when I first heard of them, was widely considered a Christian rock band, and while they do maintain the Christian element with Exhale, this is very much a different album than anything I’ve heard from them previously. Exhale allows TFK to put their own spin on a genre that doesn’t have enough quality music, and it really shines for them. I’m excited for the direction the band has gone in since I first heard of them 10 years ago, and I’ve definitely become a fan again thanks to Exhale.

Track listing:

1. “Running with Giants”
2. “Incomplete”
3. “Give up the Ghost”
4. “A Different Kind of Dynamite”
5. “The River”
6. “Push”
7. “Off the Rails”
8. “Adrenaline”
9. “Lifeline”
10. “Can’t Stop This”
11. “Born Again”
12. “Honest”

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