Female vocals
"Between prog and atmospheric pop, rock and metal with a finesse of composition that transpires from each song, "To Become" is certainly one of the surprises of the year 2018."
PROGRACER (09.11.2018)  
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Outwards is a very young band from France created by guitarist and composer Jean-Loup Pecquais only two years ago. If Outwards officiates in progressive metal, it would be simplistic to confine it to this style because you will see, and surely hear very soon, that this band havs more than one string to his bow.

"To Become", the band's first album, opens with the instrumental 'Once Upon a Day' which sets some milestones for what the album will be with its simple and efficient riff and its round and energetic theme. What strikes you from the outset is the complex rhythm, on the borderline of math rock, between a singing bass and a diversified drum with a clear organic strike. The phases follow one another with fluidity and the solo illuminates the heart of the piece. What an introduction!

Pauline's soft voice takes an important place on the following titles, taking the listener  in a more pop style which will remind The Last Embrace by the languorous melodies of 'Personnel Rabbit Hole'. More like progressive rock, 'Artwork And Fears' plays on the changes of rhythms and ambiences by leaning on acoustic guitars, a more aggressive riff and an aerial solo. 

Another remarkable instrumental, 'Fall Foliage' makes the link with the opening track by an identical theme. Here again, the approach is jazz in the writing and math rock in the rhythmics and subtle sound additions. The title slowly rises in power in a post-rock spirit with a riff that thickens as the bars go by. A beautiful demonstration of inventive writing that an above-average technique and a limpid production magnify, with a solo that is a model of virtuosity and sensitivity. The title alone is worth the detour, and as 'The Tale Of The Cog' is forged from the same alloy, almost eight minutes of extra pleasure awaits you.

In a more traditional progressive metal register, the three following tracks give pride of place to heavy riffs and stronger rhythms without neglecting the alternative passages and intimate breaks. The album closes with 'To Become Alice', an epic piece of almost 15 minutes. On the first third, Pauline shares the vocals with Jean-Loup, but the whole thing struggles to take off, until the aerial break with an acoustic guitar and a wonderfull voice. The rest is pure progressive enchantment with a sublime Pink Floyd-like solo followed by a soaring bridge that an abyssal heavy riff sweeps away to an epic finale of great beauty.

Intelligently mixing prog and atmospheric pop, rock and metal with a finesse of composition that transpires from each track, "To Become" is certainly one of the surprises of this end of year and Outwards a revelation in power. A breeze of freshness is rustling through the prog metal scene with this rich and surprisingly mature album for a band that is only at the dawn of its career.  To be listened to urgently, and without moderation.
- Official website

01. Once Upon a Day
02. Personal Rabbit Hole
03. Artwork & Fears
04. Fall Foliage
05. The Tale of a Cog
06. From Dust...
07. A Fable of Modernity
08. ... To Ashes
09. To Become Alice

Benjamin Garson: Guitares
Guillaume Leplège: Basse
Jean Loup Pecquais: Chant / Guitares
Maxime Biron: Batterie
Pauline Ducroux: Chant
Théophile Busschaert: Claviers
Inès Mathouthi: Invité / Violon
Jeanne Grivelet: Invité / Alto
Naia Ishii: Invité / Violon
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