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Outrider - Foundations

by Harry Green at 03 September 2017, 10:33 PM

“Foundations” is the June 2017 debut album of Italian hard rock/metal artists from the town of Monza, OUTRIDER. The band certainly sound Italian. The vocals here made me chuckle. They’re the garden-variety Mediterranean Rocker vocals where the singer’s imitation of a hard rock style similar to Dio is tempered by an unmistakable nasal drawl. Listen to an Italian metal band with clean vocals (RHAPSODY, THY MAJESTIE, LABYRINTH, DGM to name a few), you’ll find them. Occasionally Zampolli manages to channel Diego Vasquez (and for that matter, Tobuscus) – as is the case in “Down” – but otherwise remains very much within this archetype.

The effort reminds me a lot of one of the better entry-level “prog” bands that’d show up on the European Metal Channel on YouTube, one that’s prog in a mild way. The second track, “Sideways”, might be the best example of this style on this release, but there are a handful of other interesting tunes here. “Empty Shell of Me” is one of the more promising tracks, with a decent textural variety and more interesting drumming, accompanied with a solid chorus using some shades of melodeath riffing. “Brutal Game” is odd, retaining both flat Southern rock kind of melodies and some semi-djent stuff that reminds me of VOLA to some degree.  “Kimberly” is a more atmospheric track vaguely evocative of a number of different prog groups, including Polish fixtures like RIVERSIDE, INDUKTI and VOTUM and even Swedish legends KATATONIA; “Raindrops” is similar in this regard.

The bands that comes to mind for me is RED CIRCUIT, a German semi-prog heavy metal group. – particularly on “Get Out”. To be fair, REX BROWN isn’t a terrible comparison either, especially with all the indulgent down-pitch bends, but at least OUTRIDER maintain a decent level of energy throughout and don’t make a pretense of heaviness: see “Stronger Than Before”. It’s a solid effort and OUTRIDER sound like they’re having fun. More importantly, the last three tracks are all solid, an enjoyably nuanced take on hard rock.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Void
2. Sideways
3. A Tale From the Land
4. Get Out
5. Stronger Than Before
6. Down
7. Empty Shell
8. Kimberly
9. Brutal Game
10: Raindrops
Alberto Zampolli – Vocals
Roberto Gatti – Guitar
Andrea Fossati – Bass, Backing Vocals
Federico Sala - Drums
Record Label: Sleazy Rider Records


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Edited 19 January 2021

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