Hellish Outcast – Stay Of Execution (2015) – Well, these four guys surprised the hell out of me with this one as I wasn’t expecting the approach to change quite as much as it did with each track on the disc. The formula for the band is quite simple, it’s essentially thrash, groove and modern metal elements, but eventually you’ll hear some death metal and even a little bit of melodic doom. If these guys are trying to one up Trivium with this conjunction of styles, then they’ve most certainly done it with this album. It’s much heavier, grimier and definitely more true to the nature of extreme metal than an act like Trivium, who leaned more towards the metalcore side of things. You can hear the Meshuggah influence, the early Soilwork influence and the myriads of thrash entwined within a sound that is nothing more than absolutely pummeling (sans a few select cuts) and worthy of being called metal. Not only that, the band also unleash a slew of memorable solo sections amidst this carnage, so even if you’re hearing the brutal death metal approach that has been utilized on “Torment 6:43” you’re still getting a worthy solo effort as well as some decent clean lines. Yes, there are clean vocal lines on this album, but nothing so squeaky clean that it takes you out of the performance. In fact, the only truly soft song on the record, “Leave 5:17” sounds quite morbid to be honest. There’s a female vocalist on that one as well, but once again – nothing that should take you out of the performance. I am not one to fault a band for experimenting and with so many barebones approaches to metal these days, I’m always looking for bands who think outside the box. Hellish Outcast is definitely one of those kinds of bands, as they deliver a brass knuckled clobbering to your face and a slight cup of tea. But after you’ve swallowed that tiny portion of tea; be prepared to eat the fucking pavement. Rest assured, there’s something for everyone on Stay Of Execution and I was heavily impressed with it. Though it has a nuanced approach, I like the fact that it sticks to the roots of death and thrash metal and delivers a one-two punch to competition who seems content to play the same old damn thing when it comes to modern metal. Definitely get your hands on this impressive debut and I can’t wait to hear more from these guys in the future. Hellish Outcast are the very definition of promise and potential, and one of those bands that you really get excited about the first time you hear them. Acts like this are few and far between, so we raise our horns in highest support. Definitely pick up a copy of this one, you won’t regret it!
(11 Tracks, 51:00)