Sometimes letting go is the toughest thing in the world and staying in our comfort zones is too easy. However, staying in our comfort zone causes us to be complacent in various aspects of our life, whether it be our relationships, work, or from a creative standpoint. That’s what Outer Glow frontman Zach Johnson did when he took that difficult step to leave metalcore mainstays I See Stars and create his vision known as Outer Glow. Outer Glow released their debut EP entitled “Lunar/Effect” on June 30th.
Outer Glow is composed of founder Zach Johnson on vocals, Chris Watts as dual frontman/co-founder, Kandon Monk on guitars, Paco Vergara on guitars, John Hicks on bass, and Drew Knoeller on drums. Outer Glow formed during July 2016 and they tapped Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King for guest vocals on the track “All That Talk”, and they also tapped Kile O’Dell of Failure Anthem for the production of this EP. Outer Glow also played a successful EP release show at the esteemed The Blind Tiger in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 30th.
“Lunar/Effect” starts off with an angst filled aggressive track known as “Sycophant”. “Sycophant” has hard-hitting blast beats in the rhythm section and Watts and Johnson do a commendable job with the dual vocal attack in the track. That is something that Johnson wanted to continue to bring to the table with his vision of the band is that trademark dual vocal attack that he was known for during his stint with I See Stars. The keyboards kick in nicely with the guitars and the sudden blast beats in “Wildfire”. The dual vocal attack provides originality for Outer Glow as there are parts of the track that makes Outer Glow sound atmospheric. There is emotion in the chorus as they sing, “My heart is burning up/it consumes every inch of me”. The tempo changes and the transitions between the parts of the song are smooth, which is impressive for a relatively brand new band, usually that takes a while to build those seamless transitions, but this shows me that Outer Glow has had the chemistry and vision to have that cohesive unit from the inception of the band. That tells me that they take and hone their craft seriously.
Honestly, when I thought that there were going to be three vocalists when Outer Glow tapped Ryan Kirby from Fit For A King in “All That Talk”, Outer Glow and Ryan Kirby somehow make it work, must be the good jujube that they have. “All That Talk” showcases the attitude of the band, the breakdowns are fitting in the song as it would fit in a Fit For A King song, as listeners of that band are well-versed in the breakdown of their songs. A stellar job combining influences between each other, which showcases the diversity.
In “Lunar/Effect”, Outer Glow and Zach Johnson have created that familiar path, yet carved out their own niche because the music is a bit more moody, a bit more heavy, and there is that creative freedom to showcase the integrity of the band. This is Zach Johnson’s best effort, whether in I See Stars, or now being the co-founder of Outer Glow. “Lunar/Effect” has people craving more from Outer Glow, and that is a great thing, because of this it’s a solid 8/10 star EP. Fans of djent/metalcore will surely appreciate this offering because there’s a healthy balance of clean vocals and screams in the record, and enough transition changes to make it a stellar trademark sound for Outer Glow.
Here is the tracklisting to “Lunar/Effect” below:
- All That Talk
- 12 Steps
Here is the video to “Monsters” by Outer Glow:
Check out Outer Glow at the following locations: