Caulfield – Outcast


Artist

Album

Outcast

Label

Halfcut

Year

2015

For Fans Of

Confession, I Killed The Prom Queen, metalcore

Summary

Outcast is a testament to Caulfield's hardworking attitude.

Rating

70 / 100

Caulfield is a name tossed around quite a bit in the local metalcore scene. Their work ethic is reflective of a band in their current position; the early steps are usually the most involved. Through this hard work though and grinding away the scene, the band has become relatively prominent, having shared the stage with the likes of Parkway Drive, Northlane, Prom Queen, and Hand of Mercy (RIP). Their latest offering, second full-length, ‘Outcast‘ shows Caulfield at their most intense.

Technicality and rhythm are in equilibrium on the record as the rhythmic lead lines soar under aggressive vocals. ‘Call My Name’ opens the album at a cut-throat pace and sets things off with a bang. As the full-length continues the listener is exposed to vicious, chugged riffs, passionate vocals and thunderous drums. ‘December’ showcases the technical skill that is held by both guitarists while still maintaining the ability to remain melodic. Contrastively, ‘Sink Your Teeth’ marks the first real appearance of extended clean vocals, which was a staple of debut ‘Vanity‘, in a true hardcore anthem style that accentuates the feel of the music and complements the overall tone.

As we come past the record’s halfway moment, ‘Outcast‘ remains at the same pace, however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On ‘Calloused Hands’, Caulfield prove they can still throw in some punches. The track lifts this tone again, offering new vocal styles, with parts reminiscent of Howard Jones (The Devil You Know, Ex-Killswitch Engage). ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ chucks the album into overdrive with a truly punk style hardcore tune, featuring interesting fills and assertive breakdowns.

The latter half of this release displays Caulfield in a raw, more dynamic light. As we approach the end, ‘Death Wish’ brings much of the same angst and aggression that fans are exposed to early, with extreme punk style bridge sections reminiscent to that of contemporary American hardcore bands, or even, from an instrumental perspective, bands as eclectic as Cancer Bats. 

Unfortunately, the first half of the album isn’t really that dynamic, and while all the songs flow well and blend seamlessly – they suffer from ‘Linkin Park’ syndrome, in that there’s not much differentiation between each song, it just feels somewhat formulaic. However, this is only a major downfall if these similar songs simply sucked. If much of the same were garbage then having identical songs would be redundant. Luckily for Caulfield, the tracks are actually solid and memorable. With what started as a somewhat ‘been there, done that’ album, by the end you will yearn for more of the chunky riffs, staunch breakdowns and abrasive vocals.

Conclusion

Caulfield’s ‘Outcast’ is a true representation of a hardworking band. Any fan of the local scene should appreciate the standout tracks, and, perhaps, will even dig some of the less memorable moments. And while it doesn’t strike an amazing chord compared to some of the more unique music being churned out, we have high hopes for these boys to see what their future potential delivers.

Tracklisting

1. Call My Name
2. Hell Inside My Head
3. December
4. Blind Faith
5. Sink Your Teeth
6. Tear Myself Apart
7. Calloused Hands
8. Smoke & Mirrors
9. Blacklist
10. Pevensey Road
11. Death Wish
12. Charlatan

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