Grave Mind

Written by: MAK on 29/07/2015 15:54:33

Hailing from San Diego, CA, Outlands are exploding into the metalcore world just now and livening up the scene. With well-known peers such as In Hearts Wake and August Burns Red both dropping absolute bangers this year, all eyes are, at present, on the metalcore genre, wondering whether it will really come out swinging. “Grave Mind” may just be the fresh boot up the ass the genre has been missing in order to restore the popularity it enjoyed five years ago.

There are plenty of inspirations here that appear to have influenced the sextet: strong dashes of Bring Me The Horizon, especially in the harsh vocals, mimick Oli Sykes’ raspy, “Sempiternal”-era shouts, and even if unintentional, the style and sound of the voices of Sykes and Outlands vocalists James DeBerg & Jordan Garza are too similar to ignore. The lead riffs also emulate the tone used in some earlier ‘Bring Me material, though taking a smidgen from In Hearts Wake’s grooves. DeBerg and Garza enlist the good cop/bad cop approach, with one delivering the harsh vocals, and the other the cleans. This clean singing seems also to emulate the what is heard on In Hearts Wake’s recent releases, though of course this style of higher-pitched singing to counter balance shouts and screams has been very popular in metalcore in recent years.

Outlands’ consistency throughout the majority of “Grave Mind” is impressive. Only the standout, and rather unnecessary soft ballad entry “Eclipse” provides an exception, while the rest of the album yields both the vicious, angry side to metalcore, and a more positive angle to the genre that seems more influenced by post-hardcore. Both “Bones” and “Losing Sleep” generate a satisfying mix of ferocity and joyfulness, as their verses pummel you while the choruses make you want to jump around and sing loudly with an inspired smile on your face. Opening trio “King of Dust”, “Heartless at Home” and “Ghost in the Glass” all take a similar approach, but extend bruising riffs to a greater degree, and thus employ a more vicious attitude in the process.

“Grave Mind” is a rather impressive debut from the San Diego lads that has managed to deliver quality far from original, but still entertaining enough without overdoing certain aspects that were beginning to become boring within the genre. There is no overuse of bass drops or electronic effects that were starting to become some kind of inside joke with fans of metalcore — instead, Outlands churn out a euphonic barrage of chugging guitars, incisive riffs and massive, attention-grabbing hooks that fulfil during their heaviest moments and their more melodic segments.

Download: King of Dust, Bones, Heartless at Home
For The Fans Of: Bring Me The Horizon, While She Sleeps, In Hearts Wake, The Devil Wears Prada
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 23.06.2015
Tragic Hero Records

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