Review Summary: Not quite on par with their debut EP, but this is a decent album.
I’d like to start off by saying that I did thoroughly enjoy Outline In Color’s debut, self-titled EP. I had a great balance of vocal authority (not relying on one of the two vocal responsibilities of cleans vs. screams), enough innovation to pass as a great post-hardcore/metalcore album, and it was just really fun to listen to. Jury of Wolves, however, seemed as though it had chosen two of those three attributes at different times throughout the album. At times, it is fun and balanced, but not innovative (etc.), and it doesn’t really feel like a very well-rounded album.
Still, it is a decent record. Both of the vocalists’ styles have improved on this album. The intro is typical of every record written since 2008: One and a half minutes, programmed vocals, low rumblies, distorted background screams; not the best way to start an album if they’re trying set themselves apart.
The production of the instruments on this album is the reason why this scene of music isn’t varying in sound. I flat out hate these guitar tones, drums, and cymbals. Everything is edited to the point of perfection; making albums completely air-tight as far as mistakes go usually ends in giving a very stale overtone. This record is no exception. For an example, listen to Ground Dweller by Hands Like Houses. The two records sound nearly identical.
This outfit’s biggest weapon is their clean vocalist. In an era where everyone wants to sound like a pre-pubescent girl from Pennsylvania, this vocalist does a good job of singing in his upper range while maintaining his masculinity. His voice is not gritty or distorted at all. The vocalist’s strong suit is his ability to compose melodies. They seem to come out of the blue, they are unexpected, they are tasteful. There are enough accidentals in his melodies to make it very interesting, but still, they are not tacky or thrown in.
This album is definitely for anyone who enjoyed their self-titled EP and anyone who is considering giving this album a listen. You really will not regret it.