Three years is a long time to wait for a debut album. But then, Hacktivist have hardly trodden a traditional path to reach February 2016, and the release of Outside The Box.
The verdict? This is a real statement of intent from Hacktivist. Their unique meld of UK grime and precise, technical riffing served as a sledgehammer to the sternum of the rap-metal scene from day one, helped no end by their superb cover of Jay Z & Kanye's Ni**as in Paris. Hello Radio One.
Hacktivist's formula is fairly simple, yet enviably effective, allowing MCs J Hurley and Ben Marvin to cut politically charged lines with no shortage of flow and bounce, underpinned by guitarist Timfy James' taut tech-metal riffing..
Outside the Box is at its best when it showcases the band's collaborative efforts. Heart of a Coward's Jamie Graham roars his way through Deceive and Defy, effortlessly trading the chorus lines with Marvin, while Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari fame provides a stunning, haunting guest spot on curveball single Taken. That statement of intent? Looks like it's spreading beyond dominating the underground, this is a band swinging for the mainstream.
No Way Back has been a regular addition to the band's live set, while re-recorded versions of False Idols and Elevate - the band's politically charged finest hour - are worthwhile additions to the mix.
It's a taste of what the band are capable of, for sure, but it's one boasting big ideas and few bands as heavy could threaten the mainstream as seriously as Hacktivist.
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