Black metal has long been known for being either strictly adhering to the classic sound laid down by the fathers of the genre as well as being an absolute playground for innovation and different stylistic approaches. I’m a fan of both, but it’s with the latter that I find myself exploring more often than not as I love seeing new things and seeing how well they turn out. Outre is a name that’s very familiar to me with their last record being quite the flavorful experience, but it’s with the new offering that they truly decimate.
The worlds of sludge and black metal gel together often enough to where we get plenty of blackened sludge acts here and there. But every now and then, we get an act that really sees the two styles become one in a much more intimate way. Instead of just slapping some black metal vocals on top of some sludge, Outre is one of those acts alongside pioneers like Gaerea who manage to make the concept of sludge-coaked black metal a reality. Yet, the thing with “Hollow Earth” is how Outre manages to put the black metal first while still allowing the rest of the concoction breathe into an organic chaos that can’t be stopped. Seven tracks are all it takes to have Outre make an excellent case, though. Through absolutely powerful vocals backed up by instrumentation that’s all but scathing in their nature, “Hollow Earth” truly devastates as this quartet show us exactly what they’re made of which is no less than pure excellence as Outre has created an experience that really pulls you in further and further into their intricate web of chaos as they continue to impress one track after another. There’s no denying that “Hollow Earth” is an incredibly heavy experience that just keeps getting better by throwing in a riff every now and then while the vocals absolutely drive the whole of this album forwards into naught but pure ecstasy.
While it’s still the black metal that takes great dominance over the sludge, we can still get the occasional peek at it as Outre have already proven themselves as masters of their crafted as they have shown us a relatively untapped style that has so much potential to it. “Hollow Earth” is a real devastator and one that pushes black metal just a little further down the path of innovation, and I can’t wait to hear even more!
“Hollow Earth” releases on October 26th via Debemur Morti Productions!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Hollow Earth” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Outre on Facebook here.