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Inhale Exhale 

The Lost. The Sick. The Sacred (Solid State)

The screamo-metalcore of Inhale Exhale stopped being novel about two years ago. Like genre giants Underoath and Atreyu, the Canton band has a lead singer who yelps, a drummer who contributes vocals, and a hook in every song. But Inhale Exhale's twist on the ever-popular combination of metal guitar and hardcore breakdowns is far from stale. In fact, occasionally it's scorching; the charms of The Lost. The Sick. The Sacred far outweigh its flaws.

Though the band's Christian faith is the main subject of its occasionally lame lyrics, the real object of worship here is the almighty riff. Guitarist John LaRussa's masterful playing compensates headbangers for the sissified emo vocals in most choruses. Rather than subscribe to the cut-and-paste-song structures ubiquitous in heavy music, LaRussa's riffs segue seamlessly into each other. Inhale Exhale may not be a breath of fresh air, but it's better than most local metalcore bands.

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