The almighty Abbath returns! Three years after his debut solo album ‘Abbath’ that followed the split of Immortal, the charismatic guitarist returns with ‘Outstrider’. The album was released via Season Of Mist on the beginning of the month.
From the very beginning ‘Outstrider’ proves not to disappoint. The opening track ‘Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)’ starts with a disturbing mixture of ambient sounds accompanied by gentle riffs played on acoustic guitar. This piece quickly evolves into a fully distorted and noisy metal track. The fast drumming which ignites the whole storm is just the beginning as it is quickly followed by mean guitars and harsh vocals provided by Abbath. This opening song is a very good prognostic for the whole record.
‘Harvest Pyre’ was the first single promoting the new record. The song was released in April 2019 and it is ‘100% Abbath’ – if I can call it this way. Long and heavy riffs and well-kept rhythm are the main characteristics of this track, that is built as an ultimate headbanging piece. The main riff and percussion motive loop throughout the song, repeated constantly in the bridges between the verses, which are harsher and filled of additional aggressive guitars. ‘Harvest Pyre’ proved to be perfect for first single as it is one of Outstrider’ s best tracks.
The title song, ‘Outstrider’, is another fun to listen piece. I had to play it few times in a row because it is so easily catchy. The intro to the song is played on an acoustic guitar (similar to the opening track) but shortly after all is taken over by the fuzzy sound of electric guitars. All in this song is very well planned and executed – the verses are not too long and the chorus part has this nice chant alike characteristics, which I assume it will work perfectly during live performances.
The last track which really caught my attention is ‘Pace Till Death’ which closes the whole album. Maybe it will sound odd, but this track sounds like it was recorded by Motorhead – very trashy sound, with a very fast running pace that wouldn’t make Lemmy & company ashamed of. With exception of its tempo, this track has all the expected black metal characteristics. Abbath accomplished something outstanding on this one and it closes the album with a golden key.
To sum up – Abbath delivered another great piece of heavy music. ‘Outstrider’ is a great follow up for the well-received ‘Abbath’ album in 2016. I couldn’t find any weak points in ‘Outstrider’, which is, as anticipated, a pure metal ride from its start to the end. Certainly no Abbath ‘s fan is disappointed with this new release. I anxiously wait to witness the new material being performed live during the upcoming European tour with The Vltimas and 1349, scheduled for the beginning of 2020.