While only a three-track record, Victim of the Void still reigns in a power struggle between complete annihilation and impending doom while focusing on the key components to making a hardcore record become everlasting. Outstanding breakdowns, filthy instrumentation, bleak vocals, and an overarching sense of foreshadowing ruin; No Outlet while no longer in commission, still stand as a monolith in Texas Hardcore.
Kicking things off with “Annexation,” a quick hi-hat count-in sets the mood of the track before a percussive beat-down on the toms and guitar mixes to creates motion and room within the mosh-pits. This then leads into the real meat of the track, where vocalist Dameron will make the debut and deliver some more than impressive lyrics when paired with the utterly destructive sound that No Outlet creates. “Almost lifeless, expressionless. Bloodshot eyes, internal cries, yet something is ticking away. With a trembling limb, the outlook is grim.”
There are multiple instances where No Outlet makes their presence known in such a way that it is near impossible to miss when heard, No Outlet produces such a raw sound along with their music and when the rapid-fire cymbal hits come in from Pemberton, or when Waters lays down a slick, efficient bass groove, it makes for a moment of pure bliss. The breakdowns are where No Outlet begins to truly shine, creating an abusive, but carefully constructed sound. This is also the case when segueing between tracks; there is little to no downtime between blow after blow, making Victim of the Void become a quick winded, three-round fight.
No Outlet then jumps into a bass and percussion lead section where Waters and Pemberton do a fantastic job together creating a simple, but robust system where the energy feeds off of each other’s instrument. This is the opening of the floodgates which leads into “Victim of the Void’s” ending breakdown where the entire band slams on the brakes and completely destroys everything in their path. A significant way to push No Outlet’s sound out and use every last bit of energy to bring the pain up to a newfound level.
No Outlet proves that Texas really does do everything bigger, better, stronger, and faster. There is no doubt that Victim of the Void is a crushing, but outstanding delivery from the now disbanded group of rule burners.