You have those bands who just have "it", and you have those bands who actually have the sound and the musicianship, but just don't have "it". Outshine from Sweden belong in the latter category. Objectively speaking, 'Prelude to Descent' sounds like a million. Great, thick sound and great mix. There's real power behind this! The songs aren't badly wrought either. It's well-played. Outshine have been around since 1998 for Pete's sake - they must know a thing or two about putting together stuff!
Stylistically, Outshine can be found close to Paradise Lost and in a few instances Type O Negative, which, by any means, aren't bad references at all. There's probably a less heavy edge to the Swedes than the aforementioned, except for the few genuinely heavy riffs here and there (My Definition is a good example), but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
So why the luke-warm reception in terms of rating? you will wonder. Well, without further ado, I'll share with you that I'm a bit bored. The "it" which is the magic element of really, really good bands isn't there. Even if I can hear that this is good music, it fails to make an impact. 'Prelude to Descent' will probably be liked by many, but I can't get excited. Sorry.