Parisian progressive technical death Metallers Outcast have just unleashed upon the Metal world their third album, 'Awaken The Reason', a worthy successor to 2008s full length 'Self-Injected Reality' and I am seriously impressed.
There is a huge amount of variety within the tracks to keep your interest and focus, quite an achievement as some of the tracks are absolute marathons such as 'Isolation' at nine minutes and the finale 'Awaken The Reason - Part XI: Reprise' at almost eight minutes.
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ClĂ©ment Mauro's very competent bass playing also holds its own on this album and an instrument that often slips into insignificance on so many albums is beautifully embellished by the Mathieu Santin's clear, precise and powerful drum work. A lot of Technical Metal can be hard to listen to but the progressive edge and catchy groove that runs right throughout the whole album made listening both easy and exciting.
Opening with the bouncy 'Elements', your interest is immediately grabbed and this hold is maintained as you move onto 'Abysmal', catchy, with a slower emotive chorus and excellent guitar solo.
Here Wilfried demonstrates the full range of his vocal capabilities. 'A Solace From The Shade' is delightfully discordant but still maintains that catchy groove. 'Awaken The Reason - Part IV: When Dawn Brings Clarity', is an instrumental three and a half minutes of piano based, reflective ambience.
'Spin Angular Moments' drags you right back into the frenzy, with an excellent solo midway through. 'Unspoken' is another chugging, bouncy track with some spectacular drum work and an interesting intro. The previously mentioned musical marathon of nine minutes, 'Isolation', opens gently with a gradual build in intensity until you catch the groove and are surfing on a monstrous wave of sound.
'Fallen Years' is awash with brilliant intricate patterns. I absolutely love the down tuned groove that runs through the very emotive 'What Would Be My Final Commitment?'
The melodic and slightly sludgy 'Man's Last Failure' builds in intensity and intricacy as it progresses to epic proportions at its end. The final track, 'Awaken The Reason - Part XI: Reprise', begins gently, but as this seven minute marathon of a finishing track progresses, so the intensity builds with some excellent guitar inserts and patterns built into this memorable finale.
This is an album of eleven tracks and fifty nine minutes of sheer excellence. No favourite track, I can't possibly choose one. Any fan of extreme progressive technical Metal should check this band out immediately; it's one of the best albums from this genre that I've heard this year and one that I will play for quite some time.
'Awaken The Reason' is available now on Listenable Records.