I’m not quite sure what’s happened to Poland over the past few years but the quality of new black metal that has appeared in the past 10 or so years has been staggering, whether that be Bestial Raids, Blaze of Perdition, Mgla, Batushka or the band in question Outre. Outre’s brand of black metal feels heavily filtered through the French paradigm infused with the aggression of traditional Polish death metal like Vader and Decapitated.
"Hollow Earth" in its 36-minute runtime does it damndest to be as unrelenting and savage as possible, there is a wealth of ideas on display here and they are all executed in the best way imaginable; the album incorporates a lot of the atonal atmosphere that bands like Deathspell Omega, Aosoth, and Blut Aus Nord have done so well before. Whilst not necessarily sounding 'new' Outre have done well to create something of their own and the 'tricks' of the aforementioned bands are utilized effectively, conjuring up a sinister atmosphere. Where Outre really use these techniques impressively is with the marriage of death metal, interspersed through the more atmospheric parts there is top quality death metal on display which does well to separate itself from bands that have used similar blueprints like Ulcerate or Arkhon Infaustus.
The drumming on "Hollow Earth" is really the driving force of the album, particularly high in the mix, the thunderous drums are the heartbeat of the album around which everything else builds, the cymbal work is especially impressive. The bass is audible and whilst not a key facet of the music, it makes its presence felt, providing an anchor for the band when the guitars become more unusual and dissonant. The vocals sit further back in the mix, really letting the instruments shine, instead of being a focal point they serve as an additional texture to the barbarity on display.
"Hollow Earth" belies a band that are only on their sophomore release, the musicianship, and knowledge of crafting strong songs that are dynamic and engaging is profound. This album is a solid piece of black/death metal that is sure to please fans of any of the bands that I’ve mentioned above.
"Hollow Earth" tracklist:
- Spheres within
- The Order of Abhorrence
- Let the earth be silent
- Distant Daylight
- Hollow Earth
"Hollow Earth" is to be released on October 26 via Debemur Morti Productions and is currently available for pre-order on special edition vinyl, vinyl, and CD. You can grab your copy of the album here. A red vinyl edition will be released in a very limited amount by Third Eye Temple.
Outre are Mateusz Zborowski (vocals), Marcin Radecki (bass), Krzysztof Sojda (guitars), Maciej Pelczar (drums), Damian Igielski (guitars). Follow the band on Facebook and Debemur Morti Productions as well.
Reviewed by Dan Thaumitan