Always bound to split opinion somewhat within the self absorbed circles of heavy music, it is a rather joyful thing that the tech-metal grime (or any other ridiculous epithet they are bound to be saddled with) styling of Hacktivist have been, for the most part, warming embraced by our world. Devastating festival stages and touring circuits throughout Europe whist teasing with a series of singles casually tossed our way, it may have taken the Milton Keynes quintet a perplexing amount of time to deliver their debut LP, yet the state of the art hybrid foray that is ‘Outside The Box’ is a delight worth waiting for:
Deftly combining a wealth of modern ideals and nodding towards the golden age of nu metal/rap rock, Hacktivist serve up such an ample display of genre vaulting treats that, even if you are knuckle-headed enough to find offensive in their forefront hip hop flow, they deliver plenty elsewhere to tickle your palette.
From call to arms opener ‘Hate’, ‘Deceive And Defy’s jaw shattering attack and the huge clean hooks of ‘No Way Back’, this is a record teeming with equally as much metallic muscle as scattershot mc’ing. Indeed, the Jermaine Hurly/Ben Marvin twin rap assault impacts with all the power and hostility of even the most vexed metalcore bellowers, the likes of ‘False Idols’ seeing the duo trade searing blows of rhythmic aggression.
Blend with this some brief touches of ambient exploration (‘The Storm’) and splashes of fizzing electronics (‘Rotten’), and what becomes clear is that, between the constant cross pollination here, ‘Outside The Box’ is the work of a fearlessly ambitious and ludicrously exciting prospect. A foundation of thunderous eight string violence proves the bands credentials as comrades in all things heavy, and most importantly all, these tracks feel legitimately forward thinking and not just a cut and paste gimmick. The cross over potential is huge, and on this evidence, Hacktivist are going to be massive.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)