I tried to find some redeeming value in "The World Outside"; I even tried to enjoy it. I just couldn't. Tempe, Arizona's EYES SET TO KILL will satisfy a good many folks out there and it would appear that the critical reaction thus far has been relatively positive. But all I hear is an overly generic, overly formulaic, and just not very convincing brand of female-fronted growl 'n croon metalcore.
And it's not like I can't appreciate the style from time to time. In fact, I recall finding IN THIS MOMENT's "Beautiful Tragedy" to be at least decent, even if it's not an album I ever reach for (I never did hear "The Dream", so pardon me if it sucks). The same goes for STRAIGHT LINE STITCH with "When Skies Wash Ashore", a strong combination of aggression and soaring melodic vocals. But as objective as I've tried to be over several separate listening sessions, I found that "The World Outside" succeeds in neither its aggressively metallic moments nor its fluidly melodic ones. That's not to say that that songwriting is terrible from a purely objective standpoint; it's just generic as hell. The melodies aren't very memorable and even though Alexia Rodriguez has a pleasant enough voice, it sound awfully cookie-cutter to me. Even a decent enough, driving tune like "March of the Dead" (which is almost more modern rock than metalcore) fails to really sink the hooks in deep, while piano ballad "Come Home" isn't exactly moving. However, opener "Heights" isn't too bad, though vanilla continues to be the flavor of the day and things get old quick after that point. The interplay with the harsh/aggressive vocals of keyboardist Brandon Anderson only occasionally adds value.
There are worse albums than "The Outside World". I just hear very little in the way of pop melodies that grab or aggressive moments that get the adrenaline pumping. The infusion of keyboards and the attempt at dynamic vocal structuring doesn't save it either. There is an audience for this album; I'm just not part of it. Pass.