Catalonian groove exponents Blaze Out have been around in one form or another since 2009, with Instinct being their third full-length studio release. They are a new name to these American ears, but they pack a familiar sound without being derivative or lame!

At times their groove metal merges into something more up-to-date; Savage Blue has a metalcore edge to it’s melodic/screamo juxtapositions, but the lack of any audible electronica keeps the material firmly rooted in traditional metal values. Gerard Rigau is quite the schizophrene when he’s at the mic, mixing styles and feel (sometimes even in the same song), meaning it’s a little tough to get a handle on where he’s coming from vocally; of course some might see this variation as a strength, and it certainly isn’t a weakness; just a little distracting and it does water down the band’s attack just slightly.

Dude can sing though, and his clean vocal at the start of The Raise manages to incorporate a little soul flavouring to emphasize the fact. Bassist Carles Comas adds some deathly backups to the mix here, alongside Cavalera-styled exhortations to ‘jump! Jump!’ and again this collision of feel and flavour piques the interest of the listener.

Like many bands at this level, Blaze Out are a little guilty of trying to please too many people in as little time as possible; they have a great framework, but try to cram it with just a little too many sonic flags in an effort to drag in a diverse crowd of fans. The bluesy Drunk Empire seems designed to appeal to the band member’s parents, for instance; the polar reverse to Savage Blue. It’s a little difficult to reconcile the presence of the two tracks on the same album.

That said, Blaze Out certainly master every style they take on, and prove themselves adept musicians time and again. David Lleonart is a slick lead guitarist, who adds value to every track, and drummer Josh also displays touch and feel in abundance. With a little more focus, Blaze Out have it within their grasp to create some special heavy metal in the not-too-distant future!

Instinct is out on May 17th.