Genre: Black Metal
Label: Third Eye Temple/Godz ov War/ Essential Purification Records
As far as Polish black metal scene is concerned, saying that it has seen a recent bloom in quality would be somewhat short-sighted, since that country’s scene has not stopped spawning more-than-adequate releases for two-and-a-half decades. Outre is the last link on a long chain of orthodox-esque black metal bands coming from the South Baltic (check also Blaze of Perdition and Odraza). The band’s 4 members have participated in several bands of the Polish scene, mostly orbital, small scale ones. The band was created in 2012, and has released an ep and a split with Thaw, both in 2013. Their debut, “Ghost Chants” was just released in vinyl, tape, and CD format, through Godz ov War Productions, Essential Purification Records, and Third Eye Temple respectively, with beautiful hand-made cover art.
Outre plays orthodox black metal, its influences spearheaded by (mainly Paracletus-era) Deathspell Omega (the guitar mannerism of “Apokatastasis Panton” has left an impressive mark upon the scene). Still, the band’s music is not expended on sterile mimetics; its members are great composers, and have embodied their influences in a creative manner throughout the release’s 35 minutes. Here, one can find towers of arcane majesty, merging with cataclysmic soundscapes. Stawrogin’s (guest appearing Odraza member) seigniorial voice – an original take on the Grand Hungarian (i.e. Attila Csihar) phenomenon, oscillating gracefully between chanting and raspy anathemas (listen to “Chant 7 – Arrival”) – is framed by guitars of thunderous proportions and elegant riffing. Rhythm section follows greedily on the structure patterns, both in the hauntingly ominous high-speed outbursts, and the spastic, technical orthodox moments which blur the line between black and death metal. My only argument concerns some mid-tempo parts, relatively disoriented composition-wise, whose existence seems to serve just as a filler bridge between the main song parts.
Boasting professional, top-notch mixing and engineering, and a musical prowess that is unlikely to be found on debut albums, “Ghost Chants” is an album worthy of the great Polish black metal scene. If DSO’s “Paracletus” is your thing, or you would welcome a black-metallish take on late Behemoth, search no more; Outre’s debut is your thing, presenting a monastic/subterranean take on the aforementioned albums/artists, graced with exquisite vocals.