Overall Score: 9/10 Consistency: 9/10 Vocals: 10/10 Sound: 9/10 Pros: Thoroughly Absorbing | Consistently Good Cons: None
Artist: Exit Ten
Album: Give Me Infinity
Release Date: 10th October 2011
Record Label: Deep Burn
For Fans Of: Boysetsfire, Maybeshewill, Long Distance Calling, Tool, Mastodon
It feels like Exit Ten are a band whom a lot of people have been waiting for to “make it”. The Reading quintet have been around for a few years but due to various setbacks and circumstances are only just now releasing their second album Give Me Infinity, close to four years after their debut full length record hit the shelves. Even before then Exit Ten have always shown tremendous promise (the This World They’ll Drown EP won them a big fanbase during their formative years) and have always been able to back it up live (on no occasion more so than on the Jagermeister / Metal Hammer tour they embarked on with fellow Reading inhabitants Sylosis around this time last year).
As with their Reading neighbours, the last 12 months have been a breakthrough time for Exit Ten. The Jagermeister tour in late 2010 and various festival appearances this year have built up to where we are now, the release of Exit Ten’s second full length offering, Give Me Infinity. If they’re going to “make it” as so many have willed and expected over the years, this is going to play a huge part in it. So what does it sound like and is it any good?
Give Me Infinity sees Exit Ten partially departing from their previous sound which could loosely be described as Metalcore towards a more melodic, soaring, anthemic rock approach. The guitars and riffs are still in there in spades but provide a different kind of sound and the drumwork is somewhat toned down from past recordings (though the kick drums are still in there sparingly), sometimes taking the “less is more” approach but these changes are not to the detriment of the band. The band have also dabbled with keys and other instruments and the result is a sound which feels fully absorbing and which (in my opinion) fits with Ryan’s voice much better than some of the songs on Remember The Day. The production values are also spot on and credit deserves to be given to Jon Mitchell for getting the balance just right.
Opening track Life is one of the best album opening tracks of the entire year. There are at least two great riffs in the song and Ryan’s vocal work throughout the song is phenomenal. It has classic stamped all over it and is guaranteed to have every word sung back at the band by their fans for years to come. Why this wasn’t the opening single I’ll never know. The second track Curtain Call filled that spot and feels a little closer in style to Exit Ten’s first album, 2008’s Remember The Day (and perhaps that is why it was chosen as something of a bridge for the fans) while second single Suggest A Path is full of hook laden melodies and draws you in from the first bar whilst getting better after every listen.
Other highlights (of which there are a substantial amount) include the mesmerizing Eyes Never Lie which sees Ryan pushing himself vocally to the limit. Fans of Remember The Day will love How Will We Tire for its impressively complex guitar work and arrangement but there’s theres no filler anywhere on the album. Possibly the best of the lot aside from Life though is album closer Lion which is a slow burning epic of a track that builds and builds until unleashing a fantastic crescendo which is a thoroughly brilliant way to close the album.
Exit Ten’s sound has changed, but in my opinion it has evolved for the better. Give Me Infinity should please most existing fans of the band but win them a slew of new ones in the process. They have kept the diverse sound which allows them to appeal to fans of almost any aspects of heavy music but their musicial identity feels much stronger. Fans of post rock bands such as Boysetsfire will love this and fans of more ambient music such as Long Distance Calling or Maybeshewill find lots to appeal to them too while the fantastic riffs and overall quality musicianship will appeal to fans of all types of rock and metal subgenres.
Overall, if this album doesn’t see Exit Ten “make it” I’ll eat my socks. It is a jawdroppingly good album and a stand out contender for any album of the year awards. It gets better every time you listen. Give Me Infinity is one of the masterpieces of the year, and if you haven’t got it, go and buy it now (and I mean buy not listen because these guys deserve all our support) and that’s an order.