Thousand Foot Krutch Exhale Album Review
My Rating: 4.7 / 5
Riding on the success of Welcome To The Masquerade and The End Is Where We Begin, Thousand Foot Krutch’s last album gave us a lighter, calmer side of the band’s musical repertoire. But as lead singer Trevor McNevan eloquently stated, there’s no Inhale without an Exhale. The band’s newest work is exactly as promised, perfectly complementing its predecessor by matching flowing acoustic strings with gritty, intense guitar and calm beats with explosive drums. Exhale is heavy, gritty, explosive, and bold, saturated with uncontainable energy from start to finish.
“Running With Giants” provides a massive rush of a start to the collection. With fast-paced, gritty guitar riffs and pounding drums, the forceful rhythm and energizing beat accelerate from verses to choruses. Where Inhale’s “Like A Machine” was a lighter album invitation, “Running With Giants” rivals even the heaviest of TFK’s music. Weaved among the pounding instrumentals are powerful, confident lyrics. “I am not alone here, I’m not on my own here … I’m running with giants everywhere I go … it’s an unspoken alliance, so I can just let go,” Trevor sings, celebrating Christ’s power and protection.
Presenting a bold new take on the TFK sound, shrill electric guitar screeches open “Give Up The Ghost.” The band turns their instrumental focus with an emphasis on raw, grinding, almost dissonant guitar, complemented by fast-paced, thundering drums and heavy bass. Vivid and attentive lyrics accompany the instrumental storm, presenting the story of a man who’s walked a weary road throughout life. “I’ve seen the devil and I’ve met fear, … I’ve met God and I saw life, … now I see and I believe that the ghosts that haunt me have been out-haunted.” Arguably hosting the most ambitious sound in the collection, “Give Up The Ghost” pays off with its unrestrained grit.
Deeper into the collection is the accelerating “Push.” Steadily pounding drums compose the foundation of the track while rushing electric guitar riffs unleash in the chorus. The entire track overflows with a steady yet rushing and contagious energy. Its lyrics cleverly range between quick rapping and singing, with verses unleashed like “Light Up The Sky” and choruses sung like “The End Is Where We Begin.” The words inspire listeners to stand and keep pushing forward even in the midst of life’s storms and the enemy’s attacks, thus saturating the song with maximum momentum.
The album’s closing track “Honest” finishes with a lighter atmosphere than its predecessors, echoing the acoustic guitar from Inhale‘s “Oxygen” while borrowing the orchestral elements of Welcome To The Masquerade‘s “Already Home.” With a focus on acoustic guitar and string instruments, the track provides a moderate energy with its comforting melody. Its verses contrast life on earth with the eternity Christ promises, prompting questions in the chorus. Why do we keep falling? Why do we suffer? Why does it feel like God is so far away? The beauty of this song is not in holding all the answers, but rather reminding that Christ’s promises still hold true and that He will one day bring an end to all pain and suffering. Encouraging and comforting, “Honest” perfectly closes the collection.
Frankly, many fans expressed concern whether Exhale could meet the high standard Thousand Foot Krutch has set. With absolute certainty, not only has this album surpassed expectations; it also beautifully complements Oxygen: Inhale and nearly every other song in TFK’s anthology. The band’s beloved hard and heavy rock sounds saturate the collection while thoughtful lyrics weave through every note. Quite simply, Thousand Foot Krutch’s Exhale deserves a proudly raised Rawkfist.