Hactivist: Outside The Box

21st-century rap-metal delivered with passion

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Given the near-four-year gap between the release of their self-titled debut EP and Outside The Box, you could argue that Hacktivist have failed to capitalise on the immediate impact their genre-splicing sound made back in 2012.

But if this fiery effort proves anything, it’s that Hacktivist remain unique in modern metal, not to mention ever further away from the djent scene that spawned them. Although the band’s formula remains an intelligent blend of thunderous, tech-metal grooves and scattershot rhymes from frontmen J Hurley and Ben Marvin, chief songwriter Timfy James has audibly refined and redefined his band’s direction, and the result is a cohesive and sonically devastating paean to creative freewheeling and the unstoppable energy of youth gone feral.

Previous singles False Idols, Deceive And Defy and Elevate are all here, sounding bigger and sharper than before, but it’s the newest material – the snotty, autobiographical Hate, the slamming grooves of No Way Back and Buszy’s flurry of aggro-tech haymakers – that hammers home the sheer exuberance and vitality that has propelled Hacktivist through to this point with appeal and credibility intact.

Bolshy, subversive and brimming with massive hooks and insistent riffing, this is a thrilling, state-of-the-art declaration of intent.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.