Album Review: Outlander – Acts of Harm (Church Road Records)

Birmingham, UK slow-rockers Outlander will release their brand new-album ‘Acts of Harm’ through Church Road Records on the 28th of June. An intimate coming of age record of reconciliation with adulthood, ‘Acts of Harm’ finds beauty and despair in the mundane and explores the cycles of decline that prop-up the fragile balance of normality in modern society.

So, what exactly is slow rock, you might be wondering? It’s exactly what it sounds like. A bit shoegaze like, heavy on the atmosphere, suitably downbeat, but immersive and beautiful. This is how Outlander’s sophomore record can be defined, and if you fail to come away feeling nothing, you probably weren’t really listening. That’s how powerful this album is.

Taking a methodical approach, there’s no sugar-coating the fact that Acts of Harm isn’t going to make you smile broadly. It’s mournful, touching, and thought-provoking music that focuses on deep reflective feelings through layers of moody melody and robust rock-infused heavier moments. This is what awaits the listener and there are no better showcases of this than the first two tracks; Bound and Want No More. Captivating and daring music that lights up the senses through sheer emotional beauty.

It might only be less than two minutes long, but the power that comes from II: Nuclear is startling. Outlander at their most intense sounding, even with its doom-esqe pace. Before they unveil one of the album’s most dramatically shoegaze-infused efforts of all with Orbit. A track that you sink into, letting the shroud of melancholy wrap around you tightly.

Speaking of melancholy though, there may not be anything quite as depressive as New Motive Power on the entire album. A track that carefully and courageously takes the melodies into darker places, has the instrumentals crash with passion, and has the vocals whisper and soar in electrifying fashion. The subtly of the ending is incredible. It’s one of the most impressive tracks on the album, even if it isn’t one that you’ll want to hear time and time again.

It’s all been mightily grand so far, but Outlander take that statement to the extreme with the penultimate track, Lye Waste. Not just in length, even though it’s nearly 12-minutes long, but in style. Filled with haunting melody, heart-wrenching heavier rock, dreamy ambience, moments of calm, and so much more. It is a stunningly beautiful piece of music, and the best thing on the album because of how thick the emotion is.

Which does mean it’s a pretty impossible task for II: Habituation to follow that, but thankfully, Outlander keep the finale tighter and shorter and something of a continuation of what came before. It’s a modest and pretty finale that closes out an album that has to be heard to be believed. What a phenomenal band Outlander are and what a phenomenal album Acts of Harm has turned out to be.

Buy Me a Coffee at

Outlander – Acts of Harm Track Listing:

1. Bound
2. Want No More
3. II: Nuclear
4. Orbit
5. New Motive Power
6. Lye Waste
7. II: Habituation


Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Church Road Records


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Outlander - Acts of Harm (Church Road Records)
  • The Final Score - 10/10
User Review
0/10 (0 votes)