Having built a reputation supporting acts like Asking Alexandra and We Came As Romans before being snapped up by Roadrunner, you’d be forgiven for expecting Out Came The Wolves to be yet another mall-friendly metalcore mob.
And perhaps they were once, but Strange Fate is the sound of a band trying to run before they’ve even grown feet, let alone learned to walk. This sounds like a collection of ideas – a catchy hook here, a neat riff there – rather than a coherent anthology of songs, and the whole thing’s been so clinically produced that it’s robbed of all life.
There are exceptions – the double-speed aggression of Kodiak is a mid-album surprise and I Love Hate You comes on like a Fisher Price Nine Inch Nails – hinting at a better band being held back by a cynical attempt to tick specific boxes. Overall the impression is of a band trying too hard to appeal to a specific market by deliberately playing against their strengths and retreading ground so well-worn, they’re at risk of falling into the centre of the Earth.