The Pitch: Everyone's favorite black metal badger Abbath drops his second post-Immortal album via Season Of Mist. FFO: Immortal, Gorgoroth, Satyricon
What I Like: While Outstrider may very much be "just another Abbath record" at heart, I have to give the guy some credit: these songs really cook. Unlike many name branded metal artists who seem to coast on their cult of personality in their 40's, Olve Eikemo still seems to genuinely care about making good music. For all of the memes, band squabbles, and alcohol issues, Outstrider shows no signs of stagnation. I enjoyed Abbath's self-titled effort well enough. It wasn't anything awe-inspiring, but the point stands that he could have easily phoned in this sophomore effort, collected his earnings from the diehard fans, and called it a day. Instead he and his bandmates put in the effort to surpass the debut in every possible way. Every track on this album feels like a potential single. Beyond the excellent hooks and headbanging rhythms of standouts like "Harvest Pyre," there are plenty of infectious deeper cuts from the slower title track to the killer Bathory cover. I'd even venture to say that Outstrider stands pretty tall against the greater Immortal discography with a quality and consistency not far from the likes of Sons Of The Northern Darkness.
Critiques: As solid and enjoyable as the album is, I'm not gonna be a fanboy. I still recognize that at the end of the day this album isn't necessarily contributing anything new to the black metal scene and largely retreads very familiar ground. They do it in the best possible way, but I don't give out 9's and 10's for more of the same.
The Verdict: If you have enjoyed Abbath and Immortal in the past, you'll likely enjoy Outstrider. If you didn't, this probably won't be the turning point, but it's definitely better than the last one. In any case, I'm quite impressed with Abbath's continued ability to craft solid black metal and deeply respect his drive to deliver his best when he really doesn't have to.
Flight's Fav's: Harvest Pyre, Hecate, Scythewinder
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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