This record was something of a conundrum for me. I really wanted it to be amazing. All of the snippets, samples and demos from the record were outstanding.
Well, the fact is, some of the material is so bad ass it will make you frustrated with the material that is subpar.
Hacktivist dropped their first LP almost 4 years ago, it was amazing. Since then, they have been working on Outside The Box. They have been a big hit on the small tour circuit, and have even done well on festival bills. People truly look forward to their shows. I myself am chomping at the bit to catch them live.
That being said, there are songs that are just so disappointing it pulls down the overall quality of the record and tarnishes the listeners experience.
When I bought this record, I was expecting this fusion of Metal, Hip Hop and Political connotations. What I got was an opening track talking about how successful the band is and how they don’t give a fuck if you like them or not. Another track, expressing how they are the most revolutionary band in modern history. Guys, Nu-Metal was mega in the 90’s. In fact, the closing statement in “Our Time” is ‘An Eye is Upon us’… Google that line, you’ll find Powerman5000’s opening them track “An Eye Is Upon You,” guess what, they were Nu-Metal OG’s. The tracks Hate and False Idols, are just so disappointing and really sours the reset of an otherwise really good record.
Not to mention some of the verses that make no sense, see:
“There comes a time in life
When someone wants you by their side
I need you to keep that strong
And though they fall but we are one
There will be a time
When Everything’s fine or so it seems
Left with memories
Holding on to dreams”
Then in another track, one that I truly enjoy aside from this:
“I wish I was 11 ft taller
I Wish I was a bad boy baller
Then I could have prevented this or that”
These are just a few examples of oddly placed lyrics, or recycled material from other artists.
Is it good though? Are there redeeming qualities? I have to say yes. There are some really amazing tracks, tracks that have heart and soul. The songs we have been waiting 4 years for. Songs that showcase what Hacktivist can be are “Deceive and Defy”, “Taken”, “Rotten” and “The Storm II”.
Honestly, looking at this record from the surface, yes I am disappointed. However when you think about it a little deeper, this is the bands freshman debut. This is their first record, and hopefully they will grow into what I had envisioned for them. While yes, I do highlight some of the negatives on the record. There are amazing tracks. I am frustrated with it, but yes, yes I do enjoy it. I have had this Vinyl spinning for the past few weeks.
My personal favorite track is “Rotten”. I think if you want to get a real taste for this record, this is the track to check out. It pulls from their Metal, Hip Hop fusion and beyond that, it’s the message they have been promising and teasing for years.
The post production work is amazing. The lyrical content for the most part is awesome. The message is strong and carried through most of the record.
Not a bad job guys, I will however be much more critical on your next EP.