Greeks Outloud, the pride of Greece are back with their third album to surprise the fans. This time it is serious business, as the title is Let's Get Serious, and the music is very widespread over the rock spectre of today's metal and rock. Party rock goes hand in hand with soft rock and a song where the knife gets buried in the heart.
They have more experience to the CV, but I could have preferred a red line down through the music instead of visiting all corners of the world more or less in the songwriting. They start briskly with Death Rock, a standard rock song which fails to set a mark for the remainder of the albums direction. Then comes another rocker I Was So Blind, more of the anonymous and boring stuff. One More Time finds the melodic fast music from the hideouts to get some meaning to the album. Classic party rock can be found on the track A While To Go, and that could really start a great party such kind of metal rock. Outloud even finds room for a cover version of OMD song Enola Gay, hard pop rock, but why they want to finish their album with such a extra song is a little beyond me. To the serious stuff now, there are two songs that really makes a difference on the new album, Another Kind Of Angel, radio rock music that still tells something about Outloud as a skilled band who know how to make quality rock music. All In Vain is a metal AOR rock song that touches the heart of metal fans no matter what direction of metal paths you tread. At least there are good stuff on this album among the multiple ways and style.
Even if Outloud have only 2 full-length albums out, they already left a mark on the melodic metal scene. They took the world by storm. To say thanks to their fans they now offer the EP More Catastrophe, a 6-track album with 3 new tracks, their 2011 Christmas single and two alternate versions of older tunes.
The opener Saints On Fire is ear candy! A catchy tune with great guitar leads and very entertaining. A little different is Cross The Line, a track with tempi changes and a cool hook. Heavy riffs and a prominent bass leads you into the up-tempo rocker Mr. Long Gone, a song which sounds like it was written in the 80's. But Outloud always scored with their authentic 80's sound.
The piano-based tune Last Days Of December is putting the focus on Chandler Mogel's voice, but subtly supported by guitars. Still the song don't have the magic some other Outloud compositions have.
Falling Rain they present in what they call flamenco version, but it's a stripped down version with acoustic guitars. I miss a bit the Paco de Lucía-feel in this song, but well I think that's just me. The closer is a piano-vocal-version of Outloud, and that's a winner! I love this version!
The EP will be available at their concerts, via their website, digitally and in stores.
This is the second album of the multinational band Outloud and it's called Love Catastrophe. Shortly after the release of their debut We Will Rock You To Hell And Back Again bassist Jason Mercury left the band and was replaced by Sverd T. Soth (Bare Infinity). The debut album got raving reviews and ended up in several 'Top Ten of the year' lists. That put some pressure on the band, but they aren't youngsters and obviously knew how to cope with high expectations. Love Catastrophe is following the chosen path. They open up with We Came To Rock, a heavy party rocker which will easily hook you up. It's not just Chandler Mogel's vocal performance, it's the interaction with guitarists Bob Katsionis and Tony Kash. It shows similarities to early Skid Row, but vocally shows some similarities to Foreigner's Kelly Hansen. Good choice to open the album. Falling Rain offers some great guitar passage which will immediately hook you up, then gives way to Chandler Mogel's performance. Partly it reminds me a little of Cutting Crew's (I Just) Died In Your Arms, but who cares?! Heavy riffs and powerful drumming is taking you into Live Again, a catchy heavy rocker with great harmony vocals. Not too 80's, but influenced by the sound of that days combined with nowadays power metal and some traditional metal elements. The balladesque Waiting For Your Love kicks off with an a cappella passage, then the guitar echoes the vocal line and they head into a powerful sentimental tune, but as they choose this one for a video clip, check it out yourself!
Bob Katsionis' keyboard dominates the opening passage of The Night That Never Ends, but one more time the powerful drumming and heavy riffs prevent then from becoming too mellow, too soft. Next in line is Somebody, a balladesque tune. The opening passage reminds me of MSG When I'm Gone, but as it still among my favorites, I won't complain. They kick off acoustically, then head into a power ballad. Actually I think it would have been stronger as an acoustic tune... Here Chandler gets a female counterpart, but I can't tell you anything about her.
Time for some heavy riffing! Underground has a different feel to it, this one should make it onto the set list of upcoming shows, coz it's a party rocker which invites you to sing along. One of my favorites is Isolation Game, a song which combines the two sides of Outloud. It offers heavy parts with razor-sharp riffs next to melodic passages which have a dash of classic rock in it. At Clean Hands they sound more Scandinavian... Bit like Europe or Treat... The title track is closing the 2nd chapter of Outloud. It's another catchy rocker, a bit like a heavier version of Foreigner... with dash of Skid Row or Spread Eagle in it.
Same same but different would sum it up. If you love their debut you won't be disappointed by Love Catastrophe. The ingredients are the same, some elements a bit more prominent this time. But at the end of the day they just fine tuned their style and it seems that playing live helped them to grow as a band. Kudos!
We'll Rock You To Hell And Back Again
(Frontiers - 2009)
Outloud was founded by Chandler Mogel (Talon), Bob Katsionis (Firewind, ex-Nightfall), drummer Mark Cross (Firewind, ex-Helloween, Metalium, Kingdom Come) as well as Tony Kash and Jason Mercury in Athens in 2004.
We'll Rock You To Hell And Back Again is a classic melodic hard rock album with a bit of a metal vibe to it. It catches right from the start. What I Need is one of those songs that make you want to drive too fast and it has an interesting touch to it, since the lyrics are partly distorted. Even though it is not really innovative, it is fun to listen to and leaves you wanting more.
When listening to Tonight you feel instantly transferred to 1983 when Bon Jovi released Runaway and Wild Life seems a little influenced by Europe...
The whole record has a very 80's feeling: lots of catchy kick ass songs and it even contains a classic rock ballad with This Broken Heart.
Tommy Hansen's (Helloween, Pretty Maids) hand as the producer is clearly noticeable.
So anybody who is into 80's hard rock and metal will probably love Outloud and should give We'll Rock You To Hell And Back Again a chance.
We'll Rock You To Hell And Back Again
(Frontiers - 2009)
Outloud was founded in 2008 by Firewind members Bob Katsionis and Mark Cross, but it all somehow started back in 2004 when Bob gave guitar lessons to Tony Kash. The lessons ended in demo-ing some songs and he invited a singer from New York he met at an US tour of Firewind. Everything went well til some blackout deleted all the work from Bob's computer. They had to start allover again! And they wanted to make it a real band, so they needed some guys to complete the line-up. In late 2008 they recorded the album whic is now getting in store.
The kick off with the fast 80's rocker What I Need. The song has the original 80's feeling - a mix between some US metal and melodic metal resp hard rock. Singer Chandler Mogel is the right guy for this kind of music and even when Outloud add some distorted vocals and so give it a modern touch, it doesn't seem out of place. A bit more melodic is We Run and it's partly the keyboard which gives this one a dash of Scandinavian metal á la TNT and Skagerack. The keyboard at Tonight reminds me of early Bon Jovi, but this one is a heavy rocker with sharp riffing - and a catchy hook. They offer a balladesque one with This Broken Heart, the tune has a slight symphonic touch in the beginning, but then they add some power and it becomes a powerful balladesque rocker. Lyrically the same old story, but well done. The backings at Wild Life have a Mötley Crüe touch... A real catchy one is Broken Sleep and it truly sounds like an 80's song. An up-tempo guitar-driven track is Out In The Night, you don't just get fast riffing, also some neo-classical influenced guitar leads. And again it becomes clear that it was a good move to get Chandler Mogel as a singer, coz he has a powerful voice and can deliver whatever the song requires. Lovesigh is an acoustic ballad, just guitars and vocal. And not cheesy at all, just a very emotional tune. The closer is called Out Loud and they storm off in a Judas Priest-kinda style. Okay, the vocals give the track a different vibe.
This album is pure fun, at least for people who like 80's metal and it's different shades. They find a good balance between heaviness and melody. To check out Outloud I recommend: Breathing Fire, We Run, Out Loud and Broken Sleep.