Hacktivist – Outside The Box


Review by Mark Wrigley

UNFD/Rise Records

Release Date: 4th March 2016

Try and pigeon hole Hacktivist at your peril; these five Milton Keynes  noiseniks are all about pushing boundaries and challenging convention, and with their debut long player “Outside The Box”, they have succeeded in driving an innovative, creative and downright disruptive stake right through the heart of banal and safe music. Simply outstanding stuff.

As one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Hacktivist have well and truly delivered a complete and emotive soundscape of a record.  Skipping genres with fluidity, these boys follow up on what was promised with their self titled EP from a few years back. It’s angular, edgy and aggressive, without any loss of control. Familiarity is retained with the likes of ‘Elevate’, ‘False Idols’ and ‘Deceive and Defy’ already having seen the light of day, nestling comfortably alongside the later offerings, like the “balls out roundhouse” that is  ‘Buszy’, and atmospheric emotion wrenching title track ‘Outside The Box’.

J Hurley and Ben Marvin trade off and vocally duel with ferocious urgency, snapping from soaring to snarling within a heart beat. Timfy James dishes out angular riffs, and quality leads over one of the most solid backlines in the UK today. Josh Gurner  and Rich Hawking combine and rumble through your very core with a gutteral rhythmic assault. As a unit, these guys are on fire.

There’s help along the way too with the likes of, Heart Of A Coward’s Jamie Graham and Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds lending their voices and influences to ‘Decieve and Defy’ and ‘Taken’,  adding yet  further power to the punch.

This is an album of twelve tracks, combined into forty minutes that represents years of hard work and honing of skills. Hacktivist are one hell of a hybrid beast, lyrically angry and questioning; technically gifted, and completely challenging people to listen. Dubstep smashes through the djent, whilst grimecore battles with electronica.  If Hacktivist are the future of music, then count us in… cracking stuff.

9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Our Time (feat Marlon Hurley)
  2. Hate
  3. Deceive and Defy (feat Jamie Graham)
  4. Taken (feat Rou Reynolds)
  5. The Storm
  6. No Way Back
  7. False Idols
  8. Rotten (feat Astroid Boys & Jot Maxi)
  9. Eleveate
  10. Outside The Box
  11. Buszy
  12. The Storm II