Abbath - Outstrider

Key Facts

Country: 🇳🇴
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 5th July 2019
Record Label(s): Season Of Mist

Band Members:

Abbath Doom Occulta – vocals, guitar
'Raud' Ole André Farstad – lead guitar
Ukri Suvilehto – drums
Mia Wallace – bass

Abbath - Harvest Pyre

Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Outstrider, Harvest Pyre, Land Of Khem, Scythewinder, Hecate

When Abbath is brought up in a black metal conversation you instantly think of some of the finest Norwegian traditional black metal. The veteran is known for his work in Immortal and I, and has been a mainstay in the black metal scene. After a three year wait for the follow up to 2016's self-titled album, Abbath bestows upon our blackened souls the absolute riff and shred fest that is Outstrider. A chaotic and expansive journey through black metal's arctic tundra, Outstrider is an epic and ruthless album full of unholy darkness and icy maliciousness.

Musically it is signature Abbath, full of relentless, evil and discordant riffs accompanied raw and piercing shreds. The whole album makes me want to don my black metal armour and corpse paint and lose myself in the forest of the arctic circle to summon up ancient evil. I love the epic feel of this album, there's definitely a bigger sense of space compared to 2016's self-titled. In essence it is traditional black metal but it's been dragged up to date for this decade and feels like there is a bit more of a death metal influence in there, in my opinion. In the way that some of the riffs sound more structured and technical, something Behemoth-esque about it, as its ruthless darkness but less blasphemy. The intro to Calm In Ire (of Hurricane) sets up the album nicely, as it has a slow build, kind of like the acoustic intro A Fine Day To Die by Bathory. Then the album wastes no time in getting to its main purpose which is straight up riffs and carnage. Calm In Ire (of Hurricane) is one of the more groggy sounding songs on the album along with Hecate which gives us this nice sort of album sandwich, as the rest shows glimpses of the opening track but never really expands on them which could be considered as shame. End of the day, this album is like Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin, you see Abbath, you're getting some of the finest arctic tundra metal you can find. Nothing too surprising there then.

Production wise, I love the sound of this album much more than 2016's self-titled. It's cleaner and more precise, in comparison to the 2016's self-titled which sounds like it was recorded in a confined space despite having the raw DIY feel it sounded very confined, where as Outstrider sounds massive.  The main thing I love the most are the uses of some of the more cleaner guitar tones, its not something I'd have associated with the Abbath solo project as I see that as more of an Immortal kind of thing. As to expect with most black metal it's quite mid and treble frequency heavy but the mix on the drums more than matches up to it and gives those  mid and treble frequencies a great foundation, everything cuts through super clearly and isn't overridden by the guitars which is something I've found in most black metal records. Overall the mix of the album is consistent and really helps the efforts the music goes to to create this expansive space that the listener finds themselves in.

If its expertly done black metal you're looking to listen to today, go no further than Outstrider, even in these hot summer days this album brings the ice and arctic winds to cool your dark soul. Abbath has proved why he is a mainstay and veteran of this scene yet again with this album and I highly recommend it!

Abbath - Outstrider


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