Outworld
Outworld


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
December 17th, 2006 | 41 replies | 10,038 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


In this day and age, progressive metal seems to be a label that many try to avoid. And honestly, who can blame one from wanting to steer clear. The stereotypes surrounding the troublesome genre paint it as that of a pretentious, over the top style of music where guitar noodling; pointlessly long songs; and well, sleep inducing boredom are all mixed into 60-70 minutes of…unpleasantness. See Dream Theater for a better understanding. But luckily there are always exceptions to said generalizations. Two bands which quickly come to mind are Symphony X and Into Eternity. But does the metal underground have any fresh blood to offer up? Well as a matter of fact…yes, it does. Enter Outworld, progressive metal band extraordinaire. Formed in 1997 the band has been garnering more and more support in the metal underground as of late. And finally, the Houston, Texas based quintet has released its debut album, albeit nine years after the band's inception. Released on November 13, Outworld's self-titled release is quite the progressive metal extravaganza.

Outworld's style of prog metal is a rather likeable combination. Right from the beginning of the album, the band forces listeners into submission with aggressive riff after aggressive riff after aggressive riff. Surely, fans of this type of guitar work should find themselves right at home with Outworld, as this tactic is employed through the entirety of the hour long recording. The opening track, Raise Hell, displays this relentless intensity quite well, as you would expect from a song with a name such as that. No, it isn't a Follow the Reaper, Painkiller, or Symbolic in terms of heaviness and aggression, but it definitely holds its own in this respect. Like many a progressive band, Outworld does feature extremely technical sections. Be it through the riffs, solos, bridges, or other interludes, each musician commands their respective instrument with skill and precision. Of the four band members who play an instrument, guitarist Rusty Cooley would definitely be the must impressive. Each track showcases him performing a few blindingly fast, technical solos which, although sometimes overwhelming at first, proves to be quite entertaining and a force to be reckoned with on the axe. Those who are not fans of shred guitar most likely will not find pleasure in listening to the young guitarist's neo-classical pieces, as he does spend a fair bit of time wanking all over his guitar, yet for the most part his performances are tasteful and likeable. The minute and a half long track, A Preludes to Madness, is an excellent example of the man's skill. Fans of shred guitar should check that track out.

After Cooley, by far the most impressive member is Outworld's former frontman, Kelly Carpenter. His voice is quite difficult to describe. Try to imagine a combination of a more aggressive James Labrie (Dream Theater), a less sombre Warrel Dane (Nevermore) and Urban Breed (Tad Morose), and you'll have Kelly. His singing is actually a very powerful tool which Outworld makes perfect use of. Need an example? Check out the album's third track, War Cry. The 6 minute epic features both softer, more contained singing from Kelly, as well as a shockingly impressive shriek which definitely helps up the aforementioned aggression which drives the album. It is in moments such as theses where his influences shine through, yet Carpenter still manages to retain a sense of originality and uniqueness. It's too bad Kelly and Outworld parted ways, as he can sing with the best of them and should have a bright future in metal.

There have been a few excellent debut metal albums in 2006. So far, my two favourite, Cellador's Enter Deception and Outworld's Outworld have been, for the most part, very well received by the metal community. The later is an excellent offering from an up and coming progressive metal band, and those who enjoy this type of music should readily enjoy it. Fusing extreme virtuoso; muscular, high speed riffs; solid song writing; several epic tracks; and excellent, high flying vocals; Outworld's self titled debut is definitely an impressive offering from the Texas metallers. This band is one that the metal community should look out for in the future, especially fans of bands such as Symphony X, Tad Morose, and Dream Theater. Get this.

Recommended Tracks:
Outworld
War Cry
Riders
City of the Dead



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
December 17th 2006



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I kind of found this album a little ridiculous. The shred is well, senseless shred (at least most of the time) and nothing else really stood out for me. Maybe I'll give it another look.

Lunarfall
December 17th 2006



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Damn you for reviewing this before me. Oh well, I really don't know what to give this yet anyway, but a 4 is fine for now.

Cooley can eat Petrucci for lunch. Vocals are a little too piercing though. Good thing they have a new, better singer now.This Message Edited On 12.17.06

Tyler
Emeritus
December 17th 2006



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good, their vocalist really irked me.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 17th 2006



3709 Comments


I still haven't heard the songs with the new vocalist. I'll give tem a shot someday...

Shadows
Moderator
December 17th 2006



2530 Comments


Oddly, I just received this earlier today. I have yet to listen, though. I saw some videos of Rusty Cooley's playing and I was blown away. Hands down the fastest shredder I've ever seen. Hopefully his music is as good as I've heard.

jrowa001
December 19th 2006



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

all around amazing band. i just heard this today and it has been inserted to my top 10 albums released this year. great review as well.

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 19th 2006



3709 Comments


Yeah so myspace is pretty annoying and I couldn't really hear much of the new singer. But he was pretty impressive.

^^ Thanks, and it'd probably be in my top 10 too.

Neoteric
December 19th 2006



3243 Comments


Stop writing so many good reviews, you're making the rest of us look bad!

*lame*

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 19th 2006



3709 Comments


Interesting. How would you compare Six Minute Century to Outworld?

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 20th 2006



3709 Comments


I supose I will, if it lets me.

EDIT: Yeah, so someone uploaded it for the Daily Upload thing in R&M forum, I'll forawrd it to you.This Message Edited On 12.21.06This Message Edited On 12.21.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 21st 2006



3709 Comments


Yeah that post didn't turn out as expected...

Just give me your email and I'll send it to you when I get the chance.

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 1st 2007



3709 Comments


Don't mention it.

Lunarfall
January 15th 2007



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Wow, the vocals in Warcry are so annoying. Once again, THANK GOD they got a new vocalist.

Have you guys heard Under the Influence on Cooley's solo album? It's a fucking beast of a song as far as shredding goes. I'm certain that no metal guitarist is a better shredder than Cooley, not even Batio, Glibert or Buckethead.This Message Edited On 01.15.07This Message Edited On 01.15.07

jrowa001
January 16th 2007



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i like the vocals. but yeah cooley is a guitar master. great album...hope to hear more from these guys and more with the new vocalist

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 16th 2007



3709 Comments


Well I never got to hear their new vocalist because their myspace kept cutting out, but meh whatever.

ScelusNefas
February 3rd 2007



274 Comments


The vocalist on the album is sooooooooo anoying. There's a couples of great riff though.

Lunarfall
March 8th 2007



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The vocals are rediculously better. Carlos is so much better as a vocalist, and he seems pretty versatile too.

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 9th 2007



3709 Comments


I'd still like to hear Carlos.

Lunarfall
July 17th 2007



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

http://myspace.com/carloszema

Listen to all of them, especially "Lost". It's a good example of his voice. Insane falsetto vocals by him around 2:00 to 2:20. He also has a similar to voice to the previous vocalist, so its not a big change, just a change to a much better vocalist.This Message Edited On 07.17.07

jrowa001
July 22nd 2007



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah his vocals are a huge step up. every time i hear this album my jaw drops lower and lower at Rustey Cooley's guitar playing. i went out and bought his solo album a few days ago. its amazing



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