There are not many people who will not recognise the face of Norwegian Black Metal and now, along with his new band, Abbath bring us his second instalment since shocking the Metal world and leaving Immortal to release his debut album in 2016.
There is a clear distinction between Immortal and Abbath, as you will soon hear. The Blackened sound is softer, the groove increased and the melodic riffs sour in a glorious nature as the well-known icy vocal continues to growl the narrative, creating a wondrous blend of styles.
The album opens with ‘Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)’ that paves the way for the upcoming audible delight as the chilly winds of change were to gain traction, the atmospheric acoustic guitar adds to the anticipation and upon the breaking of the sound, the powerful drums and a Black Metal influenced guitar begins, before Abbathmakes his grand entrance. We then up the pace a little and mid a steady beat creating a sound that certainly remains true to its roots whilst allowing the frostiness to thaw a little as the white-hot lead guitar melts the ice caps.
The pace does increase on some of the tracks, morphing some toward the origins of Abbath, however, the underlying groove remains to create some hefty hooks and catchy riffs allowing you to play that air guitar whilst wearing the corpse paint.
Album title track ‘Outstrider’ begins with a calming and beautiful acoustic intro before the deep riff kicks in and suddenly we are thrust into a Blackened Rock track with a serious toe-tapping beat, topped off by that gravelly growl, creating something unique and very good. This track will definitely be a favourite and one for the new fans to really get their teeth into, allowing them to settle before the Black metal paced drums kick in to punish you prior that calming acoustic returning.
Closing the album is a cover of a band that any Black Metal fan will be aware of and if anyone had any questions around whether Abbathwas moving away from Black Metal, the question is easily answered. ‘Pace till Death’ was originally done by Bathory and with this cover, they truly bring the chilly blackened shroud in all its glory and it sounds absolutely amazing. This addition can remind the listeners where Abbath came from and why he is such a figurehead for an entire genre as they absolutely nail this track.
This album is not purely Black Metal, however the dark influence clearly runs through the bands DNA. Using other influences as well as remaining true to their roots, they branch out and express themselves. Abbathhave created an absolute belter of album that will please original fans whilst also appealing to those who have been daunted by the face of an entire genre.
Outstrider is released July 5thVia Season of Mist.
- Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane) (04:32)
- Bridge of Spasms (03:49)
- The Artifex (04:09)
- Harvest Pyre (04:12)
- Land of Khem (04:08)
- Outstrider (05:39)
- Scythewinder (04:17)
- Hecate (04:25)
- Pace till Death (BATHORY cover) (03:41)