|In November 2006, Texas-based OUTWORLD unleashed its much anticipated debut CD "Outworld." Featuring shred prodigy Rusty Cooley on guitar, "Outworld" took the metal scene by storm to outstanding reviews, with its unique and instantly recognizable sound, complex song arrangements, and unparalleled musicianship. No less than an authority than Dream Theater's John Petrucci raved "The thing that stands out the most, however, is the maturity of the song structures. Really cool riffs, melodic hooks and a great mix have made this one of my favorite releases of the year."
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. With his stunning instrumental CD, the guitar hero torch was passed to a new generation of virtuoso. This led to numerous endorsements for Rusty, now including Dean Guitars, features in both domestic and international guitar publications, and offers to join established metal acts.
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.
The band pressed forward with the recording of its debut CD at Houston-based Spyder Studios (now Diamond Recording). Based on the strength of their demo, and Rusty's increasing notoriety as a guitarist, Outworld was invited to perform at a number of shows including the ProgPower VI pre-party in Atlanta, Georgia and a NAMM-affiliated show in Austin, Texas. The band's lineup, however, continued to be unstable at vocals and at drums. The band went through three drummers in the span of a year, and vocalist Kelly Carpenter became increasingly involved with other projects, most notably recording with Beyond Twilight for their 2005 release "Section X."
The band finally completed the recording of its debut CD in late 2005. originally intended for a spring 2006 release. Shortly thereafter, the band began a national search for a dedicated drummer with undeniable skills in the vein of bands such as Lamb of God, Unearth, and Nevermore. Following an extensive search, Outworld identified current drummer Matt McKenna out of Seattle, who quickly relocated to Texas to join the band. The addition of Matt injected the band with a fiery and tremendously skilled young drummer.
On the eve of its debut CD release in fall 2006, having been further delayed due to various issues, Outworld unexpectedly parted ways with vocalist Kelly Carpenter. However, the metal gods smiled upon Outworld when they quickly found Brazil-based vocalist Carlos Zema (Vougan, Heaven's Guardian). With the addition of the leather-lunged Carlos, who possesses an amazing range reminiscent of such greats as Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson, the band was set with a fantastic and hungry lineup in what Rusty Cooley calls "my own personal Dream Theater." The band's debut CD, "Outworld," which includes Kelly's Carpenter's vocals, was released in November 2006 to rave fan and critical reception. The band is currently writing material for its second CD which, with the additions of Carlos and Matt, promises to capitalize on the strengths of its debut and demolish all expectations.