Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
1/16/2007 - Review by: Frank Hill
Outworld - Outworld - Replica - 2006

Track Listing
1. Raise Hell
2. Riders
3. Warcry
4. Outworld
5. City of the Dead
6. The Never
7. Prelude to Madness
8. The Grey Tide
9. I Thanatos
10. Polar (bonus Japan)
Some progressive metal bands take the easy way out of their guitar work by playing, essentially, power metal songs with some odd timing and little scale flourishes tacked on the end of the leads. Outworld is prog that's fierce with its attitude and its riffs. Rusty Cooley is a guitar playing alien from another planet. Seriously, Outworld is in dimension Shreddus Extraordinous where time runs at different speeds and somehow they ended up on Earth.

Taking their name from the Mortal Kombat franchise, Outworld’s founding members, Rusty Cooley and keyboardist Bobby Williamson, first came together to record Rusty’s acclaimed instrumental CD, released in early 2003 on Lion Records. Not wanting to be known for shred skills alone, Rusty and Bobby decided to form Outworld as a vocal band in the vein of their own influences such as Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Symphony X. With the addition of Kelly Carpenter on vocals, and the help of other musicians on bass and drums, Outworld recorded a four-song demo in 2004. The demo led to the signing of a worldwide deal with France-based Replica Records, a label affiliated with metal acts such as Angra, Beyond Twilight, and Pyramaze. With the subsequent addition of bassist extraordinaire Shawn Kascak the core of Outworld was born. Outworld released their self-titled debut CD and has since hired Brazil-based vocalist Carlos Zema to replace Kelly Carpenter after they parted ways with vocalist.

Rusty lets you know from the start that you're dealing with a different level of guitar player--the shredder. His seven-string work is on an amazing level and thankfully, he knows that a good, solid riff will carry a song more so than a speedy lick. "Raise Hell" opens with a fantastic staccato riff that descends into highlights of Kelly's nightmarish wailing. "Prelude to Madness", combines Yngie Malmsteen fretwork with Savatage piano runs--one could almost see it as a Chris Olivia (RIP) tribute piece. "City of the Dead" is probably the only number structured and played close to a single with the guitar work more laidback and supportive. Outworld is expectedly chaotic, a mess to anybody not claiming to have prog leanings, but without all of the indulgent noodling. I didn't find riffs that will transcend into the mass audience like Ozzy's "Crazy Train", but for metalheads that that are looking for a challenging listen, this should provide. Think Nevermore and Dream Theater on crank.

Bottom Line: ...arpeggio, legato, modes, phrases...shred metal meets insane prog.

Score: 8.5 of 10

Band site:,

Carlos Zema | Vox
Rusty Cooley | Guitars
Bobby Williamson | Keyboards
Shawn Kasack | Bass
Matt Mckenna | Alien Drums

Note: If you are so inclined, go to Rusty's site ( and download a couple of his solo movies.

--Nailer 01.15.06

Frank Hill1/16/2007


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