Outre - Ghost Chants (2015)
Third Eye Temple / Godz of War
Review by Trevor Proctor
Polish Black Metal group, Outre, was formed in Cracow during 2012 but it would be early 2015 before their debut album, Ghost Chants, would see the light of day and this was in fact their first release since 2013 when they brought us a split with Thaw which came out on the heels of their Tranquility EP earlier that year.
Ghost Chants consists of Chants 1 through 7 with each Chant having its own subtitle and when combined they have a total duration of thirty seven minutes. Chant 1, Departure, serves its purpose as an introduction with its slow pace and ceremonial atmosphere which conjures images of a satanic procession through some eerie halls. However, it’s a case of down to business as Outre cast aside their ceremonial approach and launch straight into some high tempo Black Metal with Chant 2, Shadow.
There’s no dicking about here as Outre plough through seven minutes of extremely effective black metal with the lead guitar playing a pivotal role as central driving force to their music. Emotive vocals flit between oratory chanting and blackened growls spewing forth a blasphemous attack on all that’s sacred. Third track, The Fall, sees the momentum pick up even further and quite quickly you realise this album is going to be something truly special as wave after wave of blasts rain down upon us amongst tempo changes galore.
The amazing thing about this album is whilst every track is fantastic each subsequent track impresses and notches up the quality even further – an example of this is Chant 4, Lament, by this stage I was extremely impressed but Lament just blew everything that came before it out of the water – an amazing song that blisters with musical precision and tension from start to finish. Another thing apparent throughout the album is Outres’ ability to create and build tension and pace both during and between tracks – it’s always impeccable music which steadily builds the pace as far as Chant 5, Equilibrium before there’s any significant let up as they revert to a more regal and processional approach for a few minutes before putting the foot back to the pedal, keeping it there through to the album’s stunning conclusion, Chant 7 - Arrival.
The concluding track is close to eight minutes long but it’s definitely a case of making the best of its lengthy duration and reminding you all over again just how good Outre are. Production during the entire album is exemplary, giving the vocals and each instrument room to breathe and make its presence felt yet contributing to an overall extremely accomplished sound – the result of four very talented individuals working as a solid unit. Their music is technically very precise and impresses at every twist and turn as they flit from tempo to tempo and style to style with no problem whatsoever.
This is an album currently receiving a lot of praise and attention and deservedly so, it’s sterling from start to finish and admittedly I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. With so many bands bringing us so many excellent albums at present it’s impossible to keep track of it all. I confess, this is an album that initially slipped under my radar until Godz of War were kind enough to send me a copy, and I’m glad they did – I suggest you get your act together and give this a listen, there’s no way on this earth you’ll be disappointed.
Outre has been confirmed to play In Flammen open air festival during July, a festival featuring Entombed AD, Vader and Dark Funeral, among others – a spot among some of the greats that they well and truly deserve. Outre, your music’s too good to keep us waiting as long for your second album!
A stunning and majestic debut album.
Chant 1 - Departure
Chant 2 - Shadow
Chant 3 - The Fall
Chant 4 - Lament
Chant 5 - Equilibrium
Chant 6 - Vengeance
Chant 7 - Arrival
Ghost Chants is released on CD by Godz Ov War/Third Eye Temple and is available now. Godz Ov War/Third Eye Temple and Essential Purification Records will be releasing it on Vinyl and Cassette in late September.