(8/10) If you think about Norwegian Black Metal the name of Abbath crosses your path for sure more than once. The break-through came in the ‘90s with Immortal and it’s genre defining album s such as ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’ that are timeless documents of the earlier days of Black Metal.
In the meantime Abbath formed his solo outlet and it was the simply entitled ‘Abbath’ longplayer that created quite some positive reaction in the world of Metal. Tracks like ‘Count the Dead’ are Black Metal blasts and it’s now up to the sophomore longplayer to pick things up where Abbath left off three years ago.
One of the main differences between then and now is a changed line-up. Abbath regrouped his team and added with Ole Andra Farstad, Ukri Suviletho and Mia Wallace new companions to the mothership.
‘Outstrider’ didn’t become a lengthy album. It contains nine songs and is pretty much to the point. As with the predecessor also the second strike comprises of music, that’s rooted in Black Metal, although the sound evolved and covers a wider range of influences.
Abbath’s new album contains all fans could ask for. From the hellish shimmering ‘Bridge of Spasms’ to the epic title track the longplayer features all kinds of shades when it comes to Black Metal. Especially ‘Outstrider’, the song, deviates partly from the regular pattern with an acoustic introduction, leading to another metal storm from the North. Abbath’s hoarse vocals and an hypnotic beat are key characteristics of a song that feels like a constant sledgehammer hitting on your eardrums.
What’s missing on the album though are one or two real smasher or hits of you will. Songs like ‘Count the Dead’ from the debut. With having this in mind, ‘Outstrider’ is a hellish and fascinating album with a blackened groove. A black heart is still pumping a lot of devilish power into this quartet and its newest release. If you liked the debut, you will also appreciate the second strike of this veteran in Black Metal.
- Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)
- Bridge of Spasms
- The Artifex
- Harvest Pyre
- Land of Khem
- Pace till Death (Bathory cover)
Label: Season Of Mist
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: July 5th, 2019