Review #178: Hacktivist – Outside The Box

Artist – Hacktivist
Album – Outside The Box (2016)

Check It Out – https://open.spotify.com/album/0jJ8cZt5sr4wE8vhDZ49X4

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Hacktivist are a rap-metal band from Milton Keynes, UK. The band formed in 2011 by Heart of a Coward guitarist Tim Beazley and currently consist of members; Jermaine Hurley – vocals, Ben Marvin – vocals, Tim Beazley – guitar, Josh Gurner – bass and Richard Hawking – drums. Hacktivist saw some success and exposure with their cover of ‘Ni**as In Paris’ by Kanye West and Jay-Z, as well as their well received self-titled E.P. Developing a decent fan base with some strong support slots, festival appearances and a headline tour, Hacktivist are now ready to release their debut album ‘Outside The Box’.

Hacktivist’s style is obviously derived from the nu-metal genre rise in the 2000s, bands like RATM, Korn and Limp Bizkit, but Hacktivist combining rap more with tech-metal/djent. To make an impact with their debut Hacktivist have enlisted the help of certain artists, ranging from Astroid Boys to Roy Reynolds (Enter Shikari), these artists contributing either production wise, by rapping or by singing. Hacktivist here have incorporated the featuring spot idea, of which many rap/hip-hop/RnB artists use for their albums, but integrating it in the metal genre. The focus on strict rhythmic patterns which tech-metal/djent has lends well to this type of rap, it isn’t the matching of groove and rap which RATM have, but more of the technical side, imagine Technine beats rather than Biggie beats. For fans of melody, ‘Outside The Box’ is probably not your scene. As with most tech-metal/djent music, melody isn’t the focus, but odd-time signatures, rapid arpeggios and super tight performances, which throughout a whole album may get a little tiresome for many. This album isn’t innovative in anyway, which may bore many a metalhead, however it does feature some potential hits (we’ll see how the public receive them), which invoke a weird mixture of headbanging with those hand gestures that come from rap fans.

‘Outside The Box’ is a really fun album, there’s nothing totally new about it and it’s not the most technical from a genre that prides itself on its technique, but it keeps the listener interested throughout.

7/10

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