24 Mar 2016

Outliar: "Provoked to Anger"

Convincing and embracing groove metal
While Lamb of God, DevilDriver, Machine Head and the like still carry the groove metal torch today, it all originated back in the 90s when thrash metal had supposedly "outlived" its purpose. Marching side by side with these commercially succesful titans, albeit a bit further back in the ranks, we find Outliar from North Carolina, a quartet hellbent on bringing forward the heaviest and grooviest aspects of modern metal.

"The album is easy to enjoy with its moderate pacing and billowing grooves,"

Outliar doesn't appear to be wholeheartedly a Pantera clone or Sepultura worshippers. Provoked to Anger, the group's debut album released 8 years after the creation of Outliar, strides through dense stretches of grooving tunes, their heavy-handed brand of modern metallurgy reacting with the energy in the air and bringing it to an electrifying climax as it reaches critical mass and explodes. The album is easy to enjoy with its moderate pacing and billowing grooves, but also rarely goes beyond the influential reaches of the bands that Outliar are presumably inspired by.

On the long run Provoked to Anger gets a bit samey. Outliar very very easily falls victim to the old groove-it-or-lose-it philosophy where mean, pounding chugs usurp the throne of enticing melodies, and though tracks like the power-balladesque Another Surrender certainly jazz things up (well, not in the literal sense), the moments that really stand out are a bit further between than what is desirable. When all is said and done Outliar deliver their moshable, headbangable grooves with convincing power but remains a bit too low-brow with tracks like Faceless Enemy and Rod of the Shepherd helming an album filled with brutal, half-thrashy riffs and a few forgettable melodic pieces spread about.


Released in 2012 independently

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