Following on from their 2014 album, Oxygen: Inhale, Canadian rock band TFK launch their new album – Exhale. For pretty much twenty years the band has skirted around the edges or rock music and CCM. Exhale, their ninth album, aims to bridge the gap and throw the band into the mainstream.
Mighty rock tracks like Off The Rails and Push demonstrate a sound that is destined for arenas and not just smaller Christian rock festivals. The demolishing opening track, Running With Giants may have an omnipresent overtone, but it also pulls out the big guns in terms of sound and design. These guys clearly want to follow their CCM (Christian contemporary music) comrades, The Devil Wears Prada, to greater things. The guitar riffs are at times pretty heavy and sound as if they should be followed with a fire-breathing dragon of a vocalist. However, Trevor McNevan keeps the band grounded firmly in skater rock and nu metal with a softer and more varied vocal approach which will no doubt appeal to fans of Five Finger Death Punch and Linkin Park.
The fast-paced freestyle lyrics, which sometimes draw out into rap (Push), trip off McNevan's tongue like Communion wine. The gruelling percussion courtesy of Steve Augustine (drums) and Joel Bruyere (bass) play a huge part in creating this Herculean sound. Lifeline their ability to combine pop metal choruses (Incomplete) and that modern metal sound which has been adopted by Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless, with stomping drums and a travelling bass and a dirty, slugging guitar sound.
Riding alongside the motivating and hopeful lyrics, that you can draw on regardless of your belief, is good solid rock music. What makes this album really stand apart is that the tracks don't play out in predictable ways, there's breaks, twists, turns and plenty of gear shifts along the way. So take a deep breath and...exhale.
Groupie rating 4/5