Outlander - Outlander

Year of Release: 2001
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:23:00

There was once a day when alternative metal, commonly labeled "grunge," actually used to mean something. Soundgarden's monstrous Badmotorfinger had just gone gold and promised to send what previously had lurked in the underground skyrocketing into the stratosphere; and the rest is history. Mere years later, however, the scene was dead and buried in its essence, turned into an assembly line fashion that was popping out one-hit-wonders at a ridiculous pace, and culminating in the incredible amount of garbage that is currently riding the alternative aftershock. In other words, most of it sucks now, and it has been streamlined in such a childish manner that one can't help but wonder why people are still digging into it.

Maybe because they've been waiting for Outlander all these years. An assumption that is far from being verisimilar, true, but at the same time one that makes all the sense in the world after one is exposed to the coherence and punch of this trio's debut. The sonic strength and attitude that the years have watered down are back, the ability of writing visceral hooks and testosterone riffs recalls the halcyon days of alternative metal more than once, and the overall approach is spiced up with a semi-disguised progressive bent that makes up for when songwriting originality seems to take a break. Because although there are a couple of moments during which the band somehow recalls vintage Soundgarden a tad bit too much (partly due to Chris Walczak's iron lung vocals), the very focus of the band makes sure that Outlander does not throw itself into the desperate precipice of stylistic death known as a rip-off.

And excepting the anomalistic finale "Planetwalker," which often sounds like nothing more than an adulterated version of Rush's "Tom Sawyer," the huge distance from being nothing more than a generic outfit becomes obvious with each passing track. Furthermore, with the number of bands doing this with conviction and evident talent diminishing at a worrisome rate, there is no way to call Outlander other than refreshing. True, this album would have simply found itself more at home ten years ago and would have probably met with more chances of commercial acceptance then, but good music remains good music despite the passage of time and trends, and although not incredibly groundbreaking or new, this is no exception.

Similar artists: Soundgarden, Rush, early Tool, Stone Temple Pilots

Down (5:08) / Wood (3:45) / Leaving The Desert Behind (4:38) / Nothing Seems Right (3:14) / Living In The Cracks (3:35) / Thorn (3:34) / Reprise (1:29) / Worlds Away (5:10) / II (3:03) / Once (2:56) / Guilt (5:18) / Transformation (5:26) / Now (5:47) / Planetwalker (4:49)

Scott Walczak - guitars
Marty Walczak - drums
Chris Walczak - bass, keyboards, vocals

Outlander (2001)
Outlander II (2007)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: May 18th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.outlander1.com
Hits: 645
Language: english


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