15 Jun 2021
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Outside In - Single Review: Blue Dragon

01 Aug 2019 // A review by Kris Raven

Auckland 5-piece Outside In have just released their third single Blue Dragon from their upcoming debut album. The progressive rock quintet has been busy this year after taking a lengthy sabbatical, reintroducing NZ audiences to their intellectually crafted brand of alternative prog rock.

Coming in at just under 6 minutes, the song takes us on an intricately precise musical journey. Beginning with some ominous but tranquil noise, before the clean guitar toned intro picking begins and the background noise becomes clearer, taking the form of a distant drum pattern. Charismatic vocalist/frontman Michael Brown’s voice is regal, calm but controlling, his lyrics are storytelling and he delivers it vocally with a composed passion and it sounds like he sings almost effortlessly.

The band that include drummer Adam Tobeck - are incredibly talented and accomplished players and I found this song in particular, the drums and bass skills of Elliot II Seung - were a highlight. The bass plays these licks and lead high notes that flourish in the gaps and flow through transitions effortlessly, while the beat carries a continuous groove, including some low key 16ths. Guitarist Jonnie Barnard weaves textured guitars together with complementary and melodic pieces, some of the tones and general feel of the song remind me of a chill Asymmetry era Karnivool and Porcupine Tree's In Abenstia.

The chorus carries are strong catchy hook with the vocal melody and the harmonic wah sounding guitar chords working harmoniously together. The outro vocal harmonies are a highlight and further showcase the calibre of the band. There is also lots of things to be found in the layers and the addition of some rich piano textures. Structurally it doesn’t stray far from common ground in terms of classic composition, but the style and substance of the song is unique to the sound and story of Outside In.

Be sure to catch Outside In Live for the full experience and check out their (now) three part video trilogy online.

I just want to know where the blue dragon is..

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Outside In

Auckland prog-rockers Outside In invite you on an engrossing journey through a spectrum of emotions and sounds – from intense grit, gloom and poignancy to potent and climatic psychedelic euphoria.

Outside In have a great future ahead of them. Hopefully this album gains notice outside New Zealand – something many great Kiwi bands have struggled to do. Kia kaha, Outside In – karawhiua!
Rating: 9.5/10
The progressive aspect

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Outside In

Releases

Karmatrain
Year: 2020
Type: Album
The Nature of Dreams
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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