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Hacktivist – Outside The Box | Album Review

Hacktivist have finally released their long-awaited debut album. It’s worth every minute of your time. Prepare your ears, they’ve never heard anything like it!

Official Album Cover

Source: Album Artwork

It’s been a long time coming but we’re pleased to say that it’s finally here! Hacktivist’s debut album, Outside The Box,  is set for a March 4th release having been in the works for a good while now and is their first release since their self-titled 2013 EP. The Milton Keynes based cross-genre band, have been building a following since 2011 and now they have a full album arsenal at their disposal. It’s pretty fierce, and it gives a full insight into what this band is capable of as well as featuring a few guest performances along the way.

Outside The Box already features a few songs we’ve heard before. ‘Elevate’  was released as a single back in 2013 with it’s heavy ‘djent’ riffs, aggressive rap vocals and just the general ferocity that we’ve always associated with Hacktivist. ‘False Idols’ and ‘Deceive and Defy’, both from 2014, are also both on the album. ‘False Idols’ features that same bite that we love from this band but also gives guitarist Tim Beazley an opportunity to show of his deceivingly powerful clean vocals; the combination of the clean and rap vocals really give the track a boost. ‘Deceive and Defy’ features Jamie Graham from Heart Of A Coward, who brings the track alive with his hardcore-esque vocal style.

The album is scattered with guest performances throughout. Marlon Hurley gets motivational for ‘Our Time’, Rou Reynolds lends a hand in vocals for ‘Taken’, and the band are joined by Astroid Boys and Jot Maxi for ‘Rotten’. The guests are a nice addition for the tracks and the album but we almost think they aren’t necessary. Hacktivist have already shown what they are capable of and although these collaboration tracks are good tracks, they don’t compare other tracks on the album; and as a result, aren’t needed!

What this album does suffer from, however, is that it can get a bit exhausting to listen to. That’s not due to the quality of the music or the bands performance, not at all. It’s more the genre and the formula of the tracks. The heavy ‘djent’ guitars do kind of mould into one big sound throughout the songs and it makes it more difficult for some tracks to stand out. It’s only a debut album so there’s nothing for this band to worry about yet. But they will need to find something innovative to add to their sound. Maybe more clean vocals from Tim Beazley, maybe more emphasis on the electronic aspect of their sound; we’re sure playing around with a djent/dubstep crossover could do wonders. It just needs that extra something to diversify their sound. It’s already rap/djent/alt-metal so we know it’s ridiculous to say a band who already cross-genres need to diversify. But because they are doing similar things in each song, they just need that little something to take certain tracks further. Does that make sense? Probably not! But, for example, it was refreshing to have ‘The Storm’ interlude in the middle of the album to break things up a bit.

The latest single from the album is ‘Buszy’. And well, yeah. It’s brutal. The guitars have our hearts pumping and wanting us to cause absolute carnage. It’s a strong single that really shows that Hacktivist are not to be messed with. And even with the mention of tracks moulding together, this album is worth every minute of your time. The aggression. They sheer power of the guitars and the brute force of the rhythms. Hacktivist are here to take on anything that comes at them.

“Fuck a genre, cos’ that’s not important” – Hacktivist. It sums it up really.

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