June 13, 2014 | , | 4

Exhale, When Worlds Collide

Exhale: When Worlds Collide

Seeking the buzzing urgency of Nasum and Rotten Sound? Perhaps the brutal structure of Napalm Death? Well, the grinding bastards of Exhale have got just what you need. On their third studio release, When World Collide (appropriate considering the smashing of influences found here) sees the band delivering not just the blinding fury of grind, but also the insidious groove of crusty death metal.

At a run-time of 36 minutes, When Worlds Collide averages about two minutes a song — they actually range from a frenetic 33 seconds to the seven minute long outro “Left Inside” — and hits hard and often. The band, with it’s two-headed vocal attack, blast their way through aggressive grind and churning death metal with an ease only accomplished through practice. Each track presents a little something different, whether it be the absolute ape-shittedness of opening track “Wrath Unleashed” or the melodic, sludgy pummel of “Monuments of the Dead.” It’s a testament to the band’s ability to recognize and structure their album in a fashion that emphasizes the brutal without fracturing any momentum they’ve built.

The attitude setting opening tracks is frantic and blasting, lasting but only a little over a minute before the guys bring in some absolutely rabid drums to kick off “Avsky” and it’s rumbling basslines. More in common with Rotten Sound, the track thrashes through its scant two minutes with quite the fervor before settling into a decent groove and dissonant guitars after the one minute mark. “Apocalypse” sees the band slow things down nicely with a more measured attack — rolling drums and driving riffs maintain themselves for a bit before losing composure at the one minute mark and devolving into a churning miasma of grinding death metal.

As much as I feed off of the frenzied grind that these guys spit out vehemently (and it is pretty damned kick-ass), I do love songs like “Monuments of the Dead.” It’s a song that’s instantly memorable for being so much more varied and counter to what the guys have been spewing thus far. It’s slower, doomier approach contrasts wonderfully with the off-kilter, trucker-speed-induced mayhem. Diving back into the Nasum/Rotten Sound blender of awesomeness, “Concealed Within” ratchets up the throttle again with grinding death. “Etiketter” is one hell of a pedal-to-the-metal grind track. Rapid fire drums lead the way for barked vocals and driving guitars that slow just long enough to throw a little mosh in the middle.

“Left Inside” is on par with “Monuments” in terms of the musicality and structure. It’s raw, but melodic and, again, a complete departure from the rest of the album. Both songs are different, but neither affects the overall flow of When Worlds Collide. “Vigilante,” “In This Valley” and “Illusions” combine with vicious effect to wrap up one hell of an album. Variety, power, urgency — it all comes together for Exhale with their latest studio full-length.