Featured ArticlesMusic ReviewsOutliar – Thrashing the Vault

Patrick McElravy7 months ago2748 min

North Carolina Thrashers Outliar are back at it again with the arrival of their new EP Thrashing the Vault. After reviewing their previous effort, I have been greatly looking forward to the arrival of this release. So, let us round up the dead and feast on what Outliar has brought forth with this release………

….and boy was it worth the wait. Thrashing the Vault, interestingly enough, harkens back to the band’s past, featuring re-recorded versions of the band’s catalogue from when they first hit the scene. Outliar’s last album Taste the Blood was a fine slab of melodic Metalcore mixed with Thrash via Shadows Fall and All That Remains, and I was curious what the past sounded like from the boys in Outliar. While the band’s New Wave of American Metal sound that ruled the early 00’s is still intact, it seems they embraced more of their Thrash Metal influences in subtle tones like Indestructible Noise Command or the Thrash Punk stigma of The Agony Scene’s album Get Damned, while beckoning the Gothenburg style of In Flames or Soilwork at the same time. Something touched upon, but not used to the fullest extent as we would see in later releases, is the band’s impeccable lead guitar work. While sparse compared to the band’s Taste the Blood album, the guitars rip some beautifully haunting solos on this release. The vocals won me over just as they did the last album with their Randy Blythe-esque timbre. Visceral and demonic, you would never have thought these songs were from a different time period or a different line up of the band given the powerful and emotive vocal performance heard on this record. Point blank, Outliar were a force to be reckoned with from the very beginning with their excellent songwriting skills. How these gentlemen haven’t blown up yet and become a household name in the metal community is beyond me.

From front to back Thrashing the Vault is well crafted album with all killer, no filler. With a soft intro on “The Procession” that escalates and cascades into some beautiful lead guitar work; it’s a fitting way for the album to start. It’s hard to break the album track by track since the songs all follow somewhat the same routine, but switch it up enough to keep everything fresh and engaging. The band utilize a good sense of speed to pummel the listener and know when to pull back and further stomp them flat with straight up groove and demonic vocal exorcisms. “A Loss of Sincerity” and “Faceless Enemy” hit pretty much in the same vein, beating the listener into submission with the band’s energetic Thrash. Closers “Rod of the Shepard” and “Vendetta” push the boundaries and bring the album to a height not seen yet on the album, adding a very epic and dynamic twist in songwriting while the tracks bludgeon with blistering brutality. “Rod of the Shepard” is a gruesome six minute groove fest that devours the listener whole and unapologetically. The vocals steal the show with their agonized sheen and utter disgust as the singer roars like a caged lion as the band trudges at a “Redneck Redemption” ala Lamb of God stomp. In the album’s final cut “Vendetta” is where we see the band break the mold seen on most of the release as clean guitars offer up some melodic subterfuge before beating the listener into submission. In this track the band work best as a team weaving in and out of different passages seamlessly without regard for the listener ‘s safety. At the 4:35 mark we are provided a breather for with a beautiful, yet sinister guitar solo before being handed one of the heaviest breakdowns Outliar have to offer.

While not completely new material, Thrashing the Vault proves that even in their humble beginnings, Outliar were a wrecking ball of Thrash and Death Metal worth their salt. With spot on production and performances from all parties, this album was a treat to listen to from front to back with high replay value. I can’t wair to see what the future holds for these gentlemen upon the release of fresh material. While not reinventing the wheel on Thrashing the Vault, Outliar offer up a boiling melting pot of various Extreme Metal subgenres that will have you coming back for more……

Patrick McElravy

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