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Kasium - Exhale Album Review

12 Dec 2011 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Kasium’s Exhale is the 90s rock album of the year. There are grungy guitars with blazing solos, heavy bass, hard-hitting drums and there is stoic defiance against the norms and the authorities in Kieran’s vocals. It’s all the best of Tool’s Untertow, Alice in Chain’s Dirt, Nirvana’s Bleach, Chevelle’s Point #1 and Silverchair before they were famous and all the heaviness of a Epic Meal Time’s Turducken.  

I’ve previousily had the pleasure of reviewing Kasium’s So Electric singleas well as their Premonition EP, which included versions of Drowned and Closing my Eyes. I stand by my previous evaluation of Closing my Eyes as grunge meets alt rock, the same applies to the rest of the album, but I chose to revise my comparison of Kieran’s voice from being like Korn’s Jonathan Davis to being like Static X’s Wayne Static. The djent breakdown around 03:00 reminds me of the only good piece of music in Linkin Park’s catalogue, the breakdown in Given Up from Minutes to Midnight. The quiet intro from the EP version of Drowned has been split from the main song and made into it’s own track, Drifting. The separation keeps Drowned short, heavy and to the point. So Electric remains intact. It’s still catchy. It’s still bright. It’s still a lot like Drowning Pool’s Bodies.

The opening track Halo, nothing to do with the game, is justification for buying the album. The message (go burn your halo), the music (heavy and dark), the agony in Kieran’s voice as he screams out the chorus.

Wasted Years is a Perfect Circle’s Judith, mixed with Kieran’s solo work and just a shake of Stabbing Westward, with a bit more raw emotion and less pussying around. The music alternates between Henry Rollin’s Liar and Undertow/Ænima era Tool. Definitely one of my picks of the album.

Fall Away is late Shihad. You can hear it in the way Kieran sings in the chorus there. Pop-rock at it’s greatest. Some amazing heavy riffage mixed with Spanish coffee shop busking finger-picking on this one. It’s a good sunny afternoon driving song, as long as you’re in good traffic.

Feel So Down is rather upbeat for a song named Feel So Down. Perhaps my pessimism is showing. The song is actually about not wanting to feel so down, as the lyric states. Can hear a bit of Foo Fighters in here.

The anthemic Redemption is another of my picks from the album. It’s easily digestible. There are patches of quiet sandwiched between bits of awesome in some kind of delicious aural sandwich. It’s teenage angst, raw and brutal, something these weird colourful spectacle and suspender wearing hipster children would know nothing about.  

Exhale is an oddling in terms of structure. At some points it’s Meshuggah performed by Sonic Youth, at other point’s it Marilyn Manson’s Brian Warner if he’d kept away from Tim Skold and gone on a worthwhile expedition into the world of grunge.  

In the perfect bogan world these guys would surely be the next big Kiwi thing, taking a seat at the table of awesome with HLAH, Beastwars and Shihad. This album would in heavy circulation and you’d hear Wasted Years on Hauraki as much as Foo Fighter’s Rope and Arlandria. Sadly the mainstream ain’t cool enough to appreciate this radio friendly unit shifter. Maybe my pessimism is showing. Get out there and prove me wrong, Kasium.


About Kasium

Kasium is Kieran Cooper, Chris Birch & Paul Braddock playing a unique brand of post-grunge-alternative-rock. Formed in 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand, the 3 piece have written and recorded their debut EP 'Premonition' and produced a video for the track 'Drowned'. Currently working on a full length studio album with new material and an evolving sound. This has all been interspersed with numerous live shows for of a growing and appreciative audience

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kasium


Year: 2011
Type: Album
Premonition EP
Year: 2009
Type: EP

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