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1. Utstøtt - Legender Odin 3.8
2. Adorned Brood - Asgard 3.5
3. Last Wail - The Tale of Endless Night 4.5
4. Lemuria - Chanson de la Croisade 4.5
5. Arkona - Slovo 4.0

Utstøtt - Legender Odin

Author admin
Fri 14 Nov 14
/ 5

The likes of bandcamp have brought many underground artists to the forefront of the metal world, and not many of them should be. With the constant fellation of bands such as Summoning and Caladan Brood as of late, it has sparked yet another interest in people to take it upon themselves to make this specific brand of black metal. While some fail to catch my interest, there are a select few that captivate me enough to want to listen to it again. The most recent band in this group (to my knowledge), is Utstøtt.

What this EP manages to do throughout it's 24-minute running period is trim all the excess monotony that many bands of this style make, which is the need to make epic, overlong songs that drag on with nearly no variation with riffs that run together seamlessly, but to the detriment of any possible interest the listener could take from it. The song structures in general are by no means generic, and certain sections are stopped when they need to be. Switching between calm and intense atmospheres comes easy for the songs here, and the very first song "Slaget om Odin og Fenrir" can show quite clearly what I mean, within the opening minute. The other two songs (besides the instrumental) go straight for the throat with powerful ringing chords and pounding drumlines, while progressing onto while not too catchy, effective tremolo-picked melodies.

Another thing I'm glad for is just the tight musicianship that's showcased here. Normally one would hear very badly performed instrumental sections in nearly half of all one-man black metal projects, and the way the instruments are played here is about as on-point as the drum machine is. Speaking of drum machines, one of my small qualms is simply the sound of each individual drum that's being programmed. The same hit with no variance in volume and no accents. However, this is made up for by how well each drum is mixed, not overbearing and dominating the overall mix. There's also quite a bit of variation in the different beats used, and while it's quite impressively programmed and it catches your attention, it's nothing show-offy in any sort of fashion, just like the fills. They have their place.

Same can be said for the keyboard (synth) tracks. Although they're not mixed down too low, in fact they can be prominently heard, they're still there to do what it's supposed to, and that's to emanate an atmosphere and support the other instruments, to give a bit of background. The vocals are generally impressive overall, with clear enunciation of the very well written lyrics, and with just the right amount of verocity. Vocal patterns aren't all that memorable, but it isn't too damaging to the overall experience. The bass surprisingly isn't buried by all the different elements going on simultaneously, but it's nothing too interesting. Most of the time, it follows the keyboard tracks, and is performed at a steady pace. But perhaps the most eye-catching thing about a metal album is the guitar tracks though, and it doesn't disappoint here. As previously stated, many of the riffs are tremolo-picked melodies, but there are quite a few dissonant chords thrown in tastefully between these. While it may sound alike to many melodic death metal bands, the execution of these riffs (the placement and the performance) is spot-on.

But through the minor faults (of which there don't appear to be much), this is something that time would be well invested in. I am looking forward to a full-length if there's one planned, and if you've got the kind of motivation that the nearly ubiquitous positive feedback has been giving you, then why not go for it? I'm sure that it will be more tastefully bombastic and who knows, it could be among my favorites for whichever year it's released in. Until then, this will keep me entertained throughout the wait.

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