Hacktivist – ‘Outside The Box’ Album Review
Milton Keynes rap metal outfit Hacktivist burst onto the scene with the 2012 release of their genre-splicing self-titled EP.
Combining elements of ‘djent’ and heavy metal with grime and hip-hop, the band breathed new life into a union of genres which had been much maligned for its creative stagnation.
And now, after a long, near-four-year wait, the quintet has unleashed their debut studio album, Outside The Box.
Spoken word opener Our Time, featuring guest vocals from Marlon Hurley, sets the tone for this much anticipated album: we do not conform to or accept society’s ideals, as the name Hacktivist suggests.
Groovy riffs, high-octane rhythm and rapid-fire vocal trade-off between front-men Ben Marvin and J Hurley provide the intense energy and anger which has seen Hacktivist establish themselves as one of the brightest acts in the UK metal scene.
Previous singles Deceive and Defy, featuring guest vocals from Heart of a Coward’s Jamie Graham, False Idols and Elevate all feature with a fresh, updated sound, while new material, including the autobiographical Hate and the angsty Buszy, is sure to satisfy their ever-growing fan base.
Although Outside The Box delivers the heaviness and dynamistic energy that has become typical of the band, tracks such as The Storm and Rotten, a grime collaboration with Astroid Boys and Jot Maxi, disrupt the album’s flow and almost feel out of place.
Despite this, with Outside The Box, Hacktivist have delivered a strong debut album with plenty of highlights, particularly the beautifully melodic title track. Already veterans of the stage, Hacktivist’s latest material will provide a welcome addition to their frenetic live shows.
by Karl Maguire