Ex- Immortal vocalist/guitarist Abbath returns with his second solo release for Seasons of Mist, this one titled Outstrider. With a revamped line-up that now includes Ole Andre Farstad (Guitars),
Ukri Suviletho (Drums), and Mia Wallace (Bass), you get the feeling that Abbath is basically going to change the roster as he sees fit, and whoever he feels can help him craft his version of modern black metal will get the nod. Comparing Outstrider to Abbath's 2016 debut, not much has changed stylistically speaking, with these new tracks containing plenty of blackened metal fury, perhaps a little closer to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal than your typical Norwegian Black Metal, but still familiar enough for most fans of the genre. Complete with some strong tracks such as the raging "The Artifex", the battle-ready "Scythewinder", the frost bitten "Harvest Pyre", and the epic sounding, blast beat infused, chilling "Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)", it's clear that Abbath & Co. are doing their best to capture the classic Immortal vibe, yet inject plenty of classic metal elements, include a wealth of sizzling lead guitar solos. Abbath's vocals are as effective as ever, and he does a fine job on the cover of the classic Bathory song "Pace Till Death". For classic black metal lovers, look no further than the maniacal "Hecate", 4+ minutes of pure extreme metal ferocity, complete with ragged riffs, jackhammer drumming, and Abbath's evil rasps.
While Outstrider doesn't quite reach the glorious heights of Immortal's fantastic 2018 release, it's still a fine example of energetic black metal done by one of the leaders of the genre.
1) Calm in Ire (Of Hurricane)
2) Bridge of Spasms
3) The Artifex
4) Harvest Pyre
5) Land of Khem
9) Pace till Death (BATHORY cover)