As frontman of black metal icons Immortal Abbath certainly gained a fundamental role in the Norwegian black metal scene and back in 2016 his eponymous debut album as a solo artist generated massive interest. Now the time has come to impress the audience even more with the menacing new offering “Outstrider” which promises the expected blackened fury as accompanied by solid musicians Abbath presents to the world his intriguing music vision.
The softly gelid acoustic harmonies of “Calm In Ire ( Of Hurricane)” foreshadow an utterly dark sonic realm in fact Abbath’s vocals sound absolutely ominous accompanied by a killer mixture of somber melodic guitar licks and hints of pure black metal fury but certainly the classic heavy metal blasts and groovy rock elements render everything quite catchy.
The rambunctious rhythm of “The Artifex” comes from the obvious blackened roots and the groovy rock dynamics effortlessly generated by bold drums and fierce guitar riffs are enriched by the tenebrous aura of the vocals but the song gets even more interesting when guitars add bewitching melodic phrases and flamboyant soloing.
“Harvest Pyre” is an addictive track due to the monumental blackened grooves courtesy of the perfectly frostbitten guitar tonalities sometimes embellished by nostalgic vibes within the galloping rhythmic section while of course Abbath’s signature croaking growls always convey an irresistible sinister mood.
The title track might surprise you with a major melancholic mood naturally expressed by the laid back arpeggios in the intro and the finale but the rest of the song offers plenty of heavier and utterly darkened rhythmic dynamics keeping a robust black ‘n roll framework.
“Hecate” rightfully continues to rely on a savage series of blackened rock grooves maintaining a catchy flow with loads of chunky guitar riffs but definitely benefits from the addition of sumptuous epic arrangements and dramatic atmospheric nuances.
The world of “Outstrider” is a perennial winter that somehow makes you feel comfortable as in the midst of a blackened blizzard Abbath clearly pays homage to the glorious old school metal but confidently follows his own sonic evolution to ultimately create an entertaining opus.