Polish black metal merchants Outre has already proven their worth on their 2013 releases, Tranquility EP and their split with Thaw. Yet it is this year’s debut full length Ghost Chants that the band finally unleashes the full extent of their wrath upon fans of black metal, with 7 ritualistic, trance-inducing chapters to their opus.
Without wasting any time at all, Outre goes straight into peddling their goods on Departure, with a ritualistic riff and doom-pace greeting the listener at the start. A lone guitar at the background and the chant-like vocals of Stawrogin quickly leaves one in a trance-like mood, and this enchanting atmosphere remains throughout the record, displaying the heavy emphasis on this aspect by the band on their craft. Things heat up quickly though as soon as Shadow begins, with Outre going into high-octane mode. The entire aggressive and almost-martial feel that the band manages to conjure and the alternating with slower, ominous moments all bring to mind the recent works of bands such as Marduk. It certainly helps that the tortured vocal style and shrieks of Stawrogin (like on Shadow where one is transported to a haunted, abandoned asylum) also bear some resemblance to the style of Mortuus.
At the same time, Outre ups the madness by bringing in the disturbance of the French. The riffs unleashed by Damian and Marcin like on Chant 5 – Equilibrium are often dissonant and spine-chilling, rather reminiscent of the works of bands like Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord, ensuring that Ghost Chants remains an uneasy listening experience throughout.
Outre might be still be a young band, but the material on Ghost Chants display a deep association with the genre, the style and the occult. Ghost Chants is a release that will please fans of any style of the genre – from the ambient and the atmospheric to the weirdness of French black metal or the aggression and harshness of Swedish and Polish black metal.
1. Chant 1 – Departure
2. Chant 2 – Shadow
3. Chant 3 – The Fall
4. Chant 4 – Lament
5. Chant 5 – Equilibrium
6. Chant 6 – Vengeance
7. Chant 7 – Arrival
Favourite picks: Chant 4 – Lament