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Outlet – ‘Memento Mori’ (EP Premiere)


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For all the 90s nostalgia rampant on the internet, you’d think more than a handful of bands would’ve reaped accurately from that decade’s unique sound by now. There are several that come to mind, Code Orange and Vamachara chief among them, but Idaho’s Outlet truly embodies that idea reborn. Here we have a perfect offering to those insidious eldritch tones in the form of Memento Mori. This six song sacrificial is defined by its monstrous guitar tone and its calculatedly deep sonic stabs, with it a reverent affection for the darker hardcore bands of decades past while also building upon that muscular sound with the meatier elements of sludge metal and beatdown.

Often times hardcore’s energetic bursts are brief and stinging. Outlet instead draws and quarters those moments, expanding what could be blips into minutes’ long skull-thudding breakdowns. In those passages, the brooding tone attributed to Disembodied swallows the song, only to regurgitate it via breakdowns reminiscent of Grimlock’s Crusher. “Mortal Coil” serves as perhaps the EP’s best example of this 90s dark hardcore worship. Outlet permeate Memento Mori with such an underlying gloom and doom that the tracks feel like they’re ready to put a barrel in their mouth at any second.

That darkness continues to permeate the album’s muted points. Named for the puzzle cube from the ‘Hellraiser’ films and aptly representing its namesake, “Lemarchand’s Box”, acts as an exercise of pleasure and pain. A slow boil at first, the track melts through the EP at its midsection, partially severing the connection made by the preceding three tracks; however the track steadies itself and keeps going like a Terminator hit by a shotgun blast.

The quickest parts of the EP have slivers of Quicksand’s boisterous aggression, especially in the vocals, balancing out its dispiriting and bleak qualities. “Sky Burial” hammers through at a steadier clip than before, affording the vocals time to mourn and underscoring them with a desperate, weary flavor. Memento Mori is inspired throughout, however its sludgier qualities are an experiment that begs for elaboration. There is an abyss of metallic hardcore here that Outlet is on the precipice of fully exploring and even conquering, with the journey so far being promising. While we wait for that sunken treasure to be fully pilfered, Memento Mori offers an impassioned beating of brutal, sorrowful and often daring 90s-strain metalcore.

—Bruce Hardt

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Memento Mori will be available on 9/23 from Glory Kid Limited. Pre-order it here. Follow Outlet on Facebook.

Catch Outlet live on tour.
09/29/16 Pocatello, Idaho @ Elks Lodge w/ Doubted, Militant, Souldoubt,
Life Without
09/30/16 Salt Lake City, Utah @ Beehive Social Club w/ Crow Killer, DTA,
Positive X Reinforcement
10/01/16 Los Angeles, California @ Union w/ Xibalba, Seizures, Vamachara
10/02/16 Lake Forest, California @ OC DIY w/ Xibalba, Seizures, Left Astray, Teeth

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