Thursday, July 11, 2019

Full Length Review: ABBATH "Outsrider" (Season Of Mist) by Dave Wolff

Band: Abbath
Location: Bergen
Country: Norway
Genre: Black metal
Full Length: Outsrider
Format: CD, digipak, streaming
Release date: July 5, 2019
Abbath Doom Occulta’s parting company with Immortal could be one of the best things to happen to Norwegian black metal in a long time. When members of groundbreaking bands split up, you get new bands and fresh ideas, instead of rehashed albums that give you a feeling you’ve heard the same formula. You got fresh ideas when Ozzy left Sabbath, when Dave Mustaine left Metallica, and when the original lineup of Venom disbanded for the umpteenth time. I haven’t heard Immortal’s latest release yet but the new offering from Abbath showcases a hungry band beginning to come into their own. Though nothing released by either Abbath or Immortal can touch “Pure Holocaust” (Immortal) in terms of sheer intensity, “Outsrider” surpasses both bands’ back catalogue in terms of technical ability and the pure adventurous spirit of “Sons of Northern Darkness” and “At the Heart of Winter” (Immortal). Maybe it’s because I’ve been a fan of Immortal for years, but by this album’s second or third track I was completely immersed in the bold Cimmerian majesty created by this new band. Time, experience and maturity hasn’t dissolved the black metal spirit of those albums I mentioned above; if anything it’s grounded and reinforced by the addition of slightly Celtic acoustic guitars, agile guitar solos from Ole AndrĂ© Farstad, a solid rhythm section in Mia Wallace and Ukri Suvilehto, and a classic eighties metal vibe. If bands should branch out, they should do so on their terms. But “Outsrider” makes the argument that you can stick with what you know and still transcend past glories if you know how to utilize your roots the “right” way. Abbath does so without overdoing anything or trying to unnecessarily cram anything into their songs. “Outsrider” also boasts production that fits every aspect of Abbath’s sound flawlessly, especially the rasping vocals of Mr. Doom Occulta’s that sound more imposing than ever. Paying homage to Bathory with a cover of “Pace Til Death” (from the classic “Blood Fire Death”) is a nice touch, but personally, I would have chosen “The Golden Walls Of Heaven.” By the way, Abbath is touring with Obituary this fall. -Dave Wolff

Abbath: Vocals, guitar
Ole André Farstad: Lead guitar
Mia Wallace: Bass
Ukri Suvilehto: Drums

Track list:
1. Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)
2. Bridge of Spasms
3. The Artifex
4. Harvest Pyre
5. Land of Khem
6. Outstrider
7. Scythewinder
8. Hecate
9. Pace 'till Death (Bathory cover)

No comments:

Post a Comment