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Outcast: Awaken the Reason    (Continued)

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While staying true to their previous effort, “Self-Injected Reality,” this album flows together more seamlessly. Their jazzy elements used to stand out like a sore thumb; now they're integrated alongside melodic, shredding leads and moments of crushing heaviness, never more than a minute or two apart.

Outcast's song writing ­always impresses. Their ­remarkable technicality never feels like it's just for the sake of being fast. There's real structure and emotion, best heard in “Abysmal” or “Last Man's Failure.” The breakdowns here are sparingly used but always executed at just the right spot to sky-rocket the energy. If there's one thing that “Awaken the Reason” does perfectly, it's keep the energy high.

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