OUTLIAR is an American Thrash-influenced Metal band, formed in 2004. After eight years a first release is now available via the band and CDBaby at this link. Titled “Provoked To Anger”, the album was recorded at The Basement Studio in Winston-Salem, NC by Jamie King (e.g. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, BLOODSOAKED, …) and released on the 24th January 2012. It also features a guest solo by James Murphy (TESTAMENT, DEATH, OBITUARY, …).
“Provoked To Anger” contains nine tracks, offering a good 45 minutes of aggressive punches, yet with a melodic sweep here and there. It starts with “The Procession”, which is basically an intro. First you get a clean guitar, so as not to make you jump up from the start, followed by a touch of Metal and a solo… all in ballad style. And as you can imagine, this serves as preparation for the oncoming assault in “It’s Time To Bleed”. This assault is inline with what bands like FORBIDDEN, TESTAMENT, MACHINE HEAD, PANTERA and so on deliver(ed) on their back catalogue. This is pure Metal with rough vocals; no keyboards, no samples, just power! While the verses are more hopping, so to speak, the chorus flows on nicely and is catchy at the same time. For the sake of not having a monotonous soundwave, the guys took it more slowly in the middle, almost Doom-like, where the obligatory solo was placed. And this is nice to hear, especially when things get wilder again afterwards.
Up next i’s “Faceless Enemy”, kicking in with heavy riffing and bursts, as if the egg is hatching. When all breaks loose, the music seems to be infused with a touch of Hardcore at first. I like it. But the real take off present vicious, angry Thrash in a pounding way. This song is all about power and energy. The vocals, logically, follow suit. During the solo the threatening character of the music comes out a bit more. Arriving at “Coffing Text” then. This one has a calm intro, the tension is being built. After that, no real signs of danger, as the music sounds very much like Heavy Metal. It’s in the next instant that the riffing becomes more ballsy, even though the focus lies on the flow of the song, on its catchy character. Heavy verses contrast with a melodic chorus (preceded by a dark, pounding bridge) that sounds Thrashy, but with a groove impact. No Doom in the middle, but a clean piece with clean singing. The contrast couldn’t be bigger. 😉 All in all, a good song, but to me a little less attractive.
Time to kick ass again with “Another Surrender”. Well, not exactly. It’s an acoustic ballad, quite a nice one, I dare say. And how the contrast is created in the chorus: Metal! Or rather, there is a slab of Metal to make the impact greater, especially later on in the song. But it’s a nice resting point, so to speak. “A Loss Of Sincerity” is where the action takes place once more. Pounding groovy Thrash with a catchy rhythm and deadly kickdrums. You could see it as TESTAMENT meets PANTERA. A job very well done. “Rod Of The Shepherd” lets the music fade in, and it sure ain’t a ballad. Aggressive guitarwork, pounding drums, energetic verses and angry vocals, Phil Anselmo (ex-PANTERA, DOWN) style. I like how the chorus differs in rhythm from the verses. No pounding here. Halfway the track, the guys take it slower, as if to pound the message into your head.
Two more song then. “Dozer” is another I found not as attractive as the others. It’s got a pounding intro, indicating something has got to give at some point. And so it happens, in an enticing way. Something that will do great on stage! The midtempo groovy Metal reminded me of METALLICA, in a way, only heavier. There’s a speed increase towards the chorus, where the pace decreases a little. The expected solo comes in very late. My biggest complaint about this song is, strangely enough, that’s it’s too much Metal. Meaning: a bigger dose of melody would not be bad. Or if the compositions weren’t as stretched as they are now… Speaking of stretched: “Vendetta” ends after a good 8 minutes. With so much playtime, it’s good to take your time. And so you get a clean intro, followed by Hardcore-influenced Metal. The midtempo chorus contains clean singing and shouting from the back. Halfway the band shifts into a lower gear, but the rough vocals remain at their post. There’s a solo here as well. Nothing fancy, but it does the job. Afterwards it’s back to business as usual. Metal, but with melodic touches.
So, another new and unsigned band rises to the surface. OUTLIAR’s debut album, “Provoked To Anger”, shows indeed these guys can vent their anger through the songs. The production is well done and tight. This is very good stuff to get rid of stress in a non-violent way or if you need something to get you going again, this album will help. In addition, if you like the band’s influences (see above), then by all means, buy “Provoked To Anger”.
- The Procession
- It’s Time To Bleed
- Faceless Enemy
- Coffin Text
- Another Surrender
- A Loss Of Sincerity
- Rod Of The Shepherd
Jason Ford – vocals
Ray J. Currie – guitar
Matthew Farrow – bass
Patrick Koch – drums