OUTLOUD - Let's Get Serious
August 9, 2014, a year ago
Third full-length from the former melodic metal/hard rocking Greek outfit (although the line-up is multinational), founded by Firewind's “other” guitarist Bob Katsionis, who doubles on keyboards. The well received debut was an excellent slab of hard rock, at it's best, highly reminiscent of classic Vandenberg. "Toy Soldiers", which would have only been a B-grade outtake from said platter, is the only moment that approaches past glories. Since then, they've opted for a slightly different sound, with reduced acceptance. So, in many ways, this is a make or break album for Outloud. While the lead track is called “Death Rock” it bears none of the hallmarks of THAT genre, although Nile drummer George Kollias is now on board! There's something different about Chandler Mogel's voice. Always geared more towards the sugary, commercial (rocked-up ABBA) styling of “I Was So Blind” or the acoustic love ballad “It Really Doesn't Matter,” but still slightly off kilter. Nothing about this says “metal,” in fact, all the hard edges have been child-proofed, sanded down to prevent even the remotest chance of injury. This dozen (all, but one are originals) sees the band taking cues from sanitized film soundtracks of 80s music (minus any obnoxious Casio keys, although “Another Kind Of Angel” and the closing cover come close). In that regard, rounding things out is OMD's (Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark) “Enola Gay”. Embarrassing. Check please, I'm outta here!