Awaken the Reason

Awaken the Reason

Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 07 August, 2012
Link: Official Website

Awaken the one eyed fan boys... there’s a new player on the block.

I find it rather interesting that a self proclaimed “djent” band aren’t really all that “djent”. Djent. It’s a word/style/genre/description that, in my mind, has already outstayed its welcome. Thankfully, French quintet Outcast are waaaaay more interesting than djent will ever be to me. Think of a band that combines the sound and style of countrymen Gojira and Hacride, with the dynamic fluidity of Textures with a dash of the madness of Meshuggah. That kind of bastard mix is how I’d describe Outcast and the result is rather impressive to say the least.

I’m one of those guys who doesn’t “get” Meshuggah. I really don’t. I’ve tried a number of times. It just doesn’t grab my attention. To be frank, I find them quite boring and uninteresting. The rest of the bands I mentioned above I think are quite amazing in their own right. Gojira are clearly the most notable, followed by Textures and the criminally underrated Hacride. But the bludgeoning beauty of Outcast’s comes from many directions and not all at once.

There’s a strong From Mars to Sirius vibe attached to the opener Elements and that has as much to do with the music as it does Wilfried Fagnon’s vocals and the album’s production and mix. It’s a combination of everything really and the overall result is infectious. As the album goes from one track to the next and consequently from strength to strength, it’s an engrossing journey that is all about “what will come next”.

Compared to their sophomore effort, 2008’s Self-Injected Reality, Awaken the Reason is far more complex and easily their most ambitious release to date. The 11 tracks here are fluid to say the least. Jarring, angular riffs backed by amazing militant like rhythmic blasts are a mere part of the complex puzzle created by these French maestros. They effortlessly throw in a curveball with the delicate interlude Awaken the Reason - Part IV : When Dawn Brings Clarity which brings makes breathing space available from the ensuing chaos that surrounds it. It’s done soon enough and the amazing Spin Angular Momenta takes the album to another plateau altogether.

I’m a big fan of Gojira’s From Mars to Sirius - an album the group still have not surpassed to this day and that includes their much hyped 2012 release L’Enfant Sauvage. I’ll go out on a limb with Outcast’s third long player and say that it is as good as From Mars to Sirius. Dynamic, fervent, challenging and engaging are just some of the adjectives that accurately describe Awaken the Reason. It’s an album that hit the shelves to very little fanfare and it’s a damn shame because this will be one of the best albums of 2012 for me without doubt. This is a hidden gem that needs to be brought to the attention of the masses. The world needs to hear Outcast and Awaken the Reason is definitely the place to start.

Listenable Records/Rocket Distribution