OUTLAW "Reaching Beyond Assiah"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Brazil's OUTLAW have got DISSECTION on the brain and it shows all over "Reaching Beyond Assiah". Well, there are sure worse influences to have, but they don't reach the heights of their influences. The band come very close to coming up with a melodic black metal corker but they fall just short and it's not for lack of trying.

They can play, that's for sure. And many times they do hit that mournfully melodic yet fast and aggressive style DISSECTION was known for...most notably on the very first track "Bliss of Soul". And they do have the ability to throw some curves into the album, like the super-trebly "Beyond The Realms Of God", which reaches back to black metal even before DISSECTION. The title track shows a slower, more deliberate groove with an almost folkish feel.

Where things go awry is OUTLAW just doesn't know when to quit. Almost every song outlasts its welcome and finally begins to drone. Many tracks start strongly, but by the end, they just flatten out into something bland. A notable exception is "Everything That Becomes Nothing" because that one is a compact four and a half minutes and better because of it. It's rather a shame, because the ability and desire is there, but the songwriting just hasn't quite hit the mark yet.