Outline in Color evolve with “Imposter Syndrome pt. 1” (review)

Back in the days of iTunes, I’d be devoted to finding new bands through the “related albums” at the bottom of each page. I’d come to see early stuff from greats like Fit for a King, Kingdom of Giants, and Outline in Color. The latter blew me away with their debut EP, crafting a heaviness in “My Other Car is a Time Machine” and a soft ballad in “Promises.” Ever since, I kept my eye on the band through member changes and diverse albums, and, with a new solidified lineup, Outline in Color look to impress with Imposter Syndrome pt. 1:

The band kicks it off with “Breaking the Silence,” the initial single to get the listener hyped for a listen. Michael Skaggs has taken on additional vocal duties, previously just a bassist for the band. His uncleans serve as a juxtaposition to clean vocalist Jonathan Grimes’. This track has a catchy chorus and a breakdown to bring the noise

“Alibi” is immediately an even-more fascinating track than the opener. Mixing R&B elements in, the instruments don’t pop in until the chorus. Great lyricism is further complemented by the vocal efforts of Skaggs and Grimes. “Alibi” is a compelling mesh of Picturesque and The Plot in You, and I’m all about this song, as it’s my highlight track on Imposter Syndrome.

“Punishment” features one of my favorite newer vocalists, Kalie Wolfe of the massively-underrated Rivals. While the chorus vocals’ delivery aren’t my cup of tea, the production cues in the second half salvage it for me. Wolfe’s part in the bridge is wonderful, a great addition to the piece as the outro welcomes a chant that listeners will surely sing back.

Coming out with flair, “Practice what you Preach” is Skaggs’ best, most emphatic performance on the EP. Grimes’ falsetto in the chorus is quite beautiful, too. This is as heavy as Outline in Color gets on Imposter Syndrome, and it’s my preferred outlet for the band.

The EP wraps up with “Vertigo,” a more deliberately-paced, sentimental song. Outline in Color exhibits a profound understanding of modern metal on Imposter Syndrome, as they’ve withstood several member changes and persisted into 2020. I’ll always prefer 2010’s Outline in Color where the instruments are more pronounced and complex, but I can’t knock the band for discovering their current sound, as their grasp on mainstream appeal is strong.

Rating: 7.5/10

A press copy of Imposter Syndrome pt. 1 was provided courtesy of Outline in Color.