Black metal has been a lot of things over the years; a way of life, an outlet, a cry for depression (whether it’s true or not), but what it has undeniably been, is a trend. I’m not comparing the genre to a hit television series, clothing label or other superficial medium. Rather black metal has seen a rise and fall across the metal genre becoming relevant only when it needs to be. It’s not shoved down anyone’s throats, there are no televised award ceremonies – – black metal is an unsung hero, doing the nasty work that becomes forgotten as soon as a hero in white comes along. I digress, this rambling doesn’t aid any one reader understand that Outre’s ‘Ghost Chants’ is the forgotten hero. You might not know the band’s name, or even that they existed, but I’ll tell you now, they are here when you need them.
Not overly long in its making, Outre’s “Ghost Chants” does not draw out any one idea in a sense of overbearing, this ensures that the right effect is achieved. This draws on Outre’s use of aesthetically pleasing blackened metal stereotypes. The group’s use of dissonance and timely clear production doesn’t detract from the band’s ability to draw on atmosphere. At times, doom can become prevalent throughout the album, but it’s an afterthought used only to build on the tension created. If you like your metal in the vein of Watain and Secrets Of The Moon Outre’s “Ghost Chants” will tick all the right boxes.
Say what you will about the genre’s relevance in today’s music scene (specifically metal) where every new act is somehow trying to recapture the sound of the pioneering acts, where every new band can instantly release music via the internet with little thought to promotion or reception – – only to complain when the press hands out the honest truth. It makes sense that bands would try to hop on current trends, as long as they avoid the simple pretentiousness involved. There’s something to be said about an act that will make the music they ‘want to make’. Outre stands on the back of “Ghost Chants” creating their own relevance in an industry so quick to forget. This makes it easy to give “Ghost Chants” the recognition they deserve as Outre unsurprisingly sound like Outre. “The Fall” stands as a monster of a track. It’s not overly long but it epitomizes every ongoing facet of what Outre has to offer. Black metal, death metal and doom, it’s all here on display. Outre reveals itself as your hero of the night.
You could be forgiven for not knowing where or even who this release came from. Outre aren’t exactly on every metal magazine cover, but this makes the discovery all the more spectacular and rewarding.