Abbath are due to release their second album, Outstrider, later this year and our first taste of new music comes now, in the single Harvest Pyre.
Abbath is the solo project of Olve Eikemo, the one time frontman of legendary black metal band, Immortal. Immortal went through all sorts of publicly aired issues leading to Abbath parting ways. Other members were thought to have quit, there were personal and artistic differences, and even accusations of theft of each other’s music upon the split. It was messy and not what we want to see happen to our bands. On the other hand, I have mentioned before, but we were lucky on this occasion to be left with two great bands after the split. Both Immortal and Abbath are releasing powerful black metal so for once, a split worked out okay. Read our reviews of Immortal’s Northern Chaos Gods and Abbath’s self titled debut to see what I mean.
Back to modern times now though and Abbath are a force within black metal themselves. Their second album, Outstrider will be released on the 5th of July via Season of Mist and will be one fans of black metal will be salivating for. The Norwegian black metallers are a 4 piece with one change in line up since their debut release. Iconic bassist, King Ov Hell has left citing musical differences. Apparently some of the lyrics on Outstrider are inspired by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. Jung has connections to Christian mysticism, something King found to be incompatible with how he see the band. He released the statement below.
“I wish members of the actual band, label, and crew all the best for the upcoming shows and album. The music itself is nothing short of brilliant. However, I must maintain artistic integrity and respectfully step aside.”
King is replace on bass by Mia Wallace. The rest of the band remains the same with Abbath on vocals and guitars, Ole Andre Farstad on lead guitar and Ukri Suviletho on drums.
So, on to Harvest Pyre then. Harvest Pyre is just over 4 minutes long and is a fiery song with a wicked riff. It kicks straight in with that riff and a steady drum beat. It sounds dark and ominous building a nice tense atmosphere before an extended roar from Abbath sees the drums and riff turn it up a notch. The vocals in the verses are delivered pretty slowly in Abbath’s familiar tones. The rhythm stays quite steady but gaps in the vocal lines get filled with hypnotic drum blasts. The chorus is catchy enough, pretty simplistic but catchy. The end of the second chorus sees the song pull in some melodic lead lines before throwing itself into a ripping solo. It really is a cracker, full of venom and passion in its squealing tones. It transitions beautifully back into the main riff and chorus through to the end.
Harvest Pyre is a solid song with some brilliant drum beats, a strong riff and a wicked solo. Even with all that though I did find it a little bit underwhelming. A little safe. It’s good and it is very Abbath. A strong black metal track just not one that leaves you inspired or amazed at what you are hearing. Harvest Pyre is decent enough in that it shows Abbath on form and full of fire. That’s enough to keep me excited for the new album, for now at least.
Grab a copy of Harvest Pyre on all the usual streaming platforms. Preorders of Outstrider are available from Abbath’s Bandcamp page here or from Season of Mist, here. Keep up to date with news and information from Abbath at their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by following the links.
Harvest Pyre by Abbath (Outstrider)
The Final Score - 7/10