CD Review: Outline In Color - "Masks" (Standby Records)

Exploding out of the blocks is Outline In Color’s latest, Masks, thanks to caustic opening salvo “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” a searing array of djent-rooted, stilted staccato riffs, blistering percussions, spiraling hooks, and Issues-esque vocals that can stop and turn on a dime (shout out to K.C. Simonsen and Trevor Tatro). Masks features its fair share of familiar metalcore we’ve surely all heard before (“Pick Your Poison,” “55,” “Con Artist Culture Vs. Pax Americana”), but there are more than enough above-average instances smattered about (the overarching, grandiose “Beautiful Secrets” and ominous, synth-addled theatrics of “Lifer” among them). Tread lightly through the peaks and valleys of “Happy Hunting (A Title She Deserves),” a wide-ranging cut that dazzles with venomous, circle pit worthy breakdowns and a certain serene calm. The endearing piano-led ballad “Whispers” is a welcomed change of pace (even if it’s too little too late), while “The Golden Rule” employs some intriguing melodic hardcore, that is, until about the 3 minute mark when things return to the status quo.

Grade: B-

Go Download: “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”