You’ve got to hand it to Poland’s Arkona, flying their black metal freak flag for over twenty-five years, weathering changes in tastes, technology, and personnel without wandering a smidge from their original Mephistophelian masterplan. Their unique blend of earthy black metal and fancypants symphonic trappings has corrupted many a vulnerable mind over the last couple of decades, leaving their victims humming wicked hooks long after the chaos has ended. The combination of beaut and brute still can’t be slowed by conventional weapons, despite their mix of Polish/ English lyrics and their release history of obscure splits and full-lengths on tiny labels – this is a band fighting the good (bad) fight. Continue reading
Batushka has surprise-released his new album, from the version helmed by former/current frontman Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski. So far this raw occult black metal sounds amazing. Please buy and stream the Панихида album now. Continue reading
The recording of a debut album is a pressurizing and difficult task under any circumstance; the first chance to make a mark on the world and put your presence on the radar. In the case of Polish Black metallers Outre the whole process became all the more complex with the sudden departure of vocalist Andrezej Nowak right at the beginning of recording, resulting in session vocalist Stawrogin being hastily brought in. Surely a testament of this band’s fortitude as they have come out of it with an exceptionally impressive debut in the form of Ghost Chants ( Third Eye Temple).
Despite expectations to follow in the footsteps of homegrown peers such as Behemoth, Outre have chosen to distance themselves from the more melodic and accessible takes on Black metal and have gone down the rabbit hole of the more progressive and challenging strains of the likes of Aevangelist and Deathspell Omega.
Split into seven “Chant” track parts, things proceed in an ominous and gradually building fashion on ‘Departure’, using an atmospheric slow build and eerie chanting vocals to build tension, before the following ‘Shadow’ explodes into view. Rather than sticking to all out pace, Ghost Chants veers between full throttle speed to an unsettling crawl, accompanied by an equally diverse and suited vocal range which shows Stawrogin, as a perfect and hopefully continued acquisition.
In the experimental and innovation stakes it may not have quite the same aurora of evolution and mystique as some of its peers, such as the aforementioned Deathspell Omega, but Ghost Chants is a debut which shows a commendable level of chemistry and fluidity, that of a much more experienced unit. It may not be a game changer in the genre but with their debut, Outre should firmly make a mark on the radar, one that only shows signs of growing more over time.
One of the most formidable debut’s you will hear all year.