Melbourne based hardcore kids Outright have released their highly anticipated full length album Avalanche through their own Reason and Rage Records. This is some great sounding hardcore from a band that has had the attention and affection of its followers for just over 3 years now. Previously releasing a debut 7″ which is now in it’s second pressing and even more recently dropping a 4-track preview-tape which sold out within 4 hours after being announced…the stage is well and truly set for this band to shine.
The album’s opening track ‘Troubled’ starts with the typical hardcore #101 build up of energy and palm muted chugging. About 1 minute into it the band stops abruptly, guitars shred, drums kick in double time and Jelena’s vocals burst out front with power. Her vocals are coarse, harsh and perfectly suited to this sort of stuff. The production really allows her voice to sit above the other instruments without overshadowing them in the mix which is a good thing because this is socially conscious stuff and messages are embedded throughout the 11 tracks.
The earlier songs are of a faster pace which sounds very reminiscent of early work by ‘The Haunted’ or even ‘No Innocent Victim’. The guitars work furiously together weaving in and out of syncopated rhythms and lead work to really give a metal flair to this intense and fast hardcore. The guitar tones are pretty raw but well balanced, enough to fully engage the listener with what’s going on between the two axes.
The tempos also shift often enough within each song that the material never gets boring or feels one dimensional. ‘The Collapse’ shows that the band can mix it up by incorporating all manor of tricks and techniques in one song. A blast beat here, a solo there, a slower section, a build up etc. The variety is evidence of a band that knows how to keep things interesting.
‘A City Silent’ has a strong message about domestic violence and is an album highlight. A solid vocal performance ensures that the point is made with a sense of urgency. There’s some great drum work in this song as well, good use of tom fills adding a thundering feel to some sections as well as a standout bass/drum passage. It’s a welcome change up and again shows the bands grasp on dynamics because there’s a huge beat-down at the end of the song after letting it all breathe for a bit. Pits will go nuts for this one.
#10 ‘Barbarian’ has been re-recorded from their 2011-Demo and sounds tougher than before. Fans of the band will recognise Jelena’s vocals have gained some strength and depth in the years since the original version and the guitars naturally sound much more aggressive. At the end of the song a monologue comes in lifted from the film ‘The Messenger’ (2009) where in a scene two men are talking and one say’s to the other “…and then the sun came up and I didn’t feel like dying anymore”. This brief interlude sets up the album closer ‘New Seeds’ beautifully as it talks about staying positive despite perceiving darkness around us. It’s possibly the most melodic song on the record and has one of the most powerful lines towards the end “I wont be afraid of today”. Crowds will latch on to these key phrases littered throughout the album which are often complimented by backing/group vocals and no doubt crowds will shout them back to the band at their shows, hopefully aware of the meaning and depth.
This is an outstanding record, well worth getting a copy if not for the superb artwork and variants available of vinyl colors. Fiercely independent and hard working, this band has invested a lot in the writing and production of this album and it’s great knowing that it all goes back to them. The album is up for streaming/purchase at the bands own Bandcamp-page. Go and check it out!
Track list – Avalanche:
2. Forging On
4. The Collapse
5. A City Silent
6. Old Roots
7. Iron String
9. With Your Blessing
11. New Seeds
Written by Sean Daly