Those who tried to put on their best ABBATH face in the corpsepaint competition may have missed out on the recent release of the band’s sophomore album “Outstrider”. In the three years since the solo debut was unleashed upon the world, Abbath replaced the entire band and recorded a new album, and thus “Outstrider” was born with roots to Finland, as drummer Ukri Suvilehto joined the ranks of the Norwegian black metal act.
Opening with a rare calm track “Calm In Ire (Of Hurricane)”, ABBATH introduces a familiar sound, with an overall better production. The immediate impression you get already from the first couple of seconds of the song, is one that lasts throughout the album, with the exception of “Harvest Pyre”, which is a tad more melodic, and progressive than the rest from the album, and therefore my ultimate highlight. Great pick as a first single to represent the album. As far as the rest of the album is concerned, you wanted ABBATH, and that is what you get. There’s no groundbreaking surprises, twists or turns on this album, but that doesn’t take away that “Outstrider” is a fantastic record.
We’re all aware of the typical Abbath black metal style, infused with riffs from heavy metal acts – sometimes it feels like some of these riffs and guitar solos could belong to NWOBHM acts like JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN – enhancing the depth of these tracks, and giving it a melodic touch, this is enforced by the raging guitar solos that are juxtaposed with the typical blackened atmosphere carried by blast beats. Overall, this definitely opens up the album and makes it more accessible to those who don’t necessarily like black metal.
Throughout the album, peculiar elements are combined with each other, often it might feel out of place, but I just can’t help to think that these ideas are what metal music means today, and what makes acts still stand out from one another, cause in the end, no one can deny that “Outstrider” is not trademark ABBATH.
Overall, the album has captivating riffs, sections where you can definitely dive into, together with the outstanding production of the album, ABBATH definitely has created a stunning sophomore album that finetunes his sound, by combining new melodic elements to his iconic style.
Abbath – Vocals, Guitar
Ole Andre Farstad – Guitar
Ukri Suviletho – Drums
Mia Wallace – Bass
1. Calm In Ire (Of Hurricane)
2. Bridge Of Spasms
3. The Artifex
4. Harvest Pyre
5. Land Of Khem
9. Pace Till Death (BATHORY cover)