Outre - Ghost Chants
Third Eye Temple
Progressive Black Metal
7 songs (36:41)
Release year: 2015
Outre, Third Eye Temple
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

An impressive start for these Poles, Ghost Chants is a hell of a début. Somewhere between Mayhem and Deathspell Omega, but with plenty of original identity, Outre play a distinctly experimental but atmospherically evil form of black metal that is sure to find plenty of fans. Their name is interesting; I'm not sure whether it was inspired by the Portal album. Although distinct, their music is nowhere near as unusual as the Australians', but there's a similarly despairing feel to Outre at moments which makes the comparison a viable one, along with the band's general aesthetics. Here, tracks are renamed as 'chants', numbered one to seven, each bearing a subtitle a la Abigor's Leytmotif Luzifer, and it's to Outre's credit that their music holds up against the Austrians', too.

Chant 1 – Departure is a slow, almost droning introduction to the band, wall-of-noise-riffs and slow drumbeats setting a doomy scene with mournful clean singing, before Chant 2 – Shadow brings black metal speed to the table. It's a progressive take on the genre though, having tormented clean vocals that are quite reminiscent of Akercocke or Voices (vocalist Stawrogin of Massemord has done a fantastic job) as well as an open-minded approach to riffing and drumwork that changes often but keeps the song moving along rapidly. There's a Mayhem-ic base and some of the riffs are dissonant enough to be Deathspell Omegan in influence, but you can clearly tell that you're not listening to either of those bands. I can foresee people reading this, going 'ugh, another Deathspell Omega-like Polish black metal outfit, how original' and scooting onward to find something else, so it's worth stressing!

The album gets even better from then on. Chant 3 – The Fall takes a turn for the brutal, fast and efficient, driven by the riffs and blasts, turning into something more melodic and reflective by the end, while Chant 4 – Lament is more about Outre's technical abilities, sharp-edged riffing and some fantastic drumwork from Maciej Pelczar. Each song has something different to it; Chant 5 – Equilibrium has a Blut Aus Nord feel, and Chant 6 – Vengeance (disappointingly) feels like a pumped-up Behemoth, although it redeems itself with some creepy vocal 'eeeeurrrrrrgh's from Strawrogin. And Chant 7 – Arrival throws a little of everything in, pushing that Blut Aus Nord whirr into a Watain-y song structure and ending the album leaving you wanting more. I enjoyed this a lot, not least for the fact that the band had the good sense to limit things to just under forty minutes when they could easily have written an album twice as long! As good as it is, Ghost Chants suggests even better things to come from Outre, and I look forward to hearing them. You can listen to and purchase Ghost Chants via the Bandcamp link above, in the meantime.

Killing Songs :
Chant 2 – Shadows, Chant 3 – The Fall, Chant 4 – Lament, Chant 7 – Arrival
Goat quoted 80 / 100
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