(Godz Ov War / Third Eye Temple / Essential Purification, 2015)
After an Ep and a Split (with a cool band Thaw), both released in 2013, Cracow’s Outre advance with a full-length. While the band has been active for only a few years, the members have gained experience from various other bands and projects, which definitely shows in the material on this album.
The album starts with an eerie slow intro-like song with cool clear vocals and weird whispering giving a notion of something more avantgarde approaching, but as the second song blasts into our ears we are brought into a violent world of modern Black Metal. It will soon become apparent though, that while the style of the riffs is mostly in the realm of the “dissonant” and “spiritual” Black Metal (we’ve been fed up to our necks in the past years), the way the band incorporates Death Metal and more groovier and technical elements (perhaps partly coming from the world of Post-Metal?) into the music is surprisingly original. There are also parts where I can hear the more intensive Black Metal echoing straight from the nineties (especially in the song “Vengeance” which is one the best Black Metal -songs I’ve heard in a long while).
The production of the album is extremely gritty and guttural (in a good way), while managing to sound organic and weirdly electronic at the same time, greatly because of the technically awesome yet unrefined execution of the drums. The guitars and basses are played very nicely as well, sounding more ethereal and eerie than the rest of the soundscapes. There are cool parts where the guitars are damped and the nicely soft yet clanking and pounding basses become more audial in the mix.
Although the arrangement and composition of the riffs and songs on this album are quite eventful, the experience of the music often rests heavily on the high mix and the great performance of the drums and the multidimensional vocals. The various kinds of spoken parts – between the original-sounding screaming and shouting (quite Hardcorish and Death Metallic at the same time) vocals – remind of the style of bands like Abigor (especially on their “Fractal Possession” album) or even Dødheimsgard or the twisted chanting of Attila Csihar. The are also many musical parts in the songs where the influence of the two bands mentioned is quite obvious, in a good way.
There are so many (yet not too many) elements in the material of this album, it would be hard to imagine this band not gaining a lot of fans from the more open-minded listeners into the more modern currents of Black Metal, as well as the creativity of the nineties, mixed with some Post-Metallic elements. A very good first full-length indeed, which will keep you entertained for numerous listens, growing better and better each time. Another quality album (available in LP/CD/MC -format) from the personnel responsible for releasing of this album!