Abbath Outstrider

Abbath Outstrider
8
The metal world was dealt some hard news when frontman Abbath Doom Occulta announced his departure from Immortal in 2015. However, solace was found in the formation of his subsequent eponymous band, and their 2016 debut was lauded for capturing the sound of the vocalist's previous black metal outfit.
 
With their 2019 sophomore, Outstrider, Abbath build on the blackened foundation of their first album, adding touches of old-school heavy metal and thrash.
 
It lends itself well to Abbath's sound, giving their black metal assault an underlying groove that's discernable on tracks like "Bridge Of Spasms" and "Land of Khem." Songs like "Scythewinder" bring it on home, with pounding drums in the breakdown, laying the foundation for some mean, old-school riffage. The band also channel their old-school influences into more laidback bangers such as the title track, featuring massive and colourful chords, steady drums and rousing vocals from Abbath himself.
 
Of course, you'll get your black metal fix with this album as well. Outstrider is an icy barrage when it's not taking a break to lean into a groove. The riffs are cold, evil and relentless, in true Abbath form.
 
Whether it's a blast beat or a back beat, it will sound incredible thanks to the impeccable production on this album. It sounds as vast and spacious as a mountain range, with every note given room to linger. It's a boon to both the black metal and old-school sounds on this record.
 
Outstrider is a triumphant followup to Abbath's debut. The thrash and old school vibes are blended in tastefully, never falling into worship or throwback territory. It's a solid record that evokes the best of extreme metal's heyday. (Season of Mist)