Outcast - Awaken The Reason
There are few things to enjoy about Awaken The Reason, the new album from French prog metal quintet Outcast, with originality certainly not a saving grace. Half Gojira and half Meshuggah, the complex rhythms and daunting riffs are both fun and brutal, yet the over-riding sense is that we've heard it all before... a lot. This current uprising of djent bands is starting to wear decidedly thin as so few have done anything different with the format. It makes their name seem rather ironic in hindsight, given they've well and truly jumped on this particular bandwagon.
The acoustic interludes do slightly edge them away from most of their cohorts (who crave constant time changes and gratuitous displays of technical skill), but even for these moments you could probably name half a dozen other bands they recall. Get past this disappointment and you can sink into some fine musicianship, flicking between melodious refrains and uncompromising heaviness with style and confidence, all wrapped up in a meaty, crisp production that lets you feel every note and beat. Unfortunately, the downsides remain an obstacle that is difficult to completely shake.