Listen, I could try to force 1000 words into this review of the debut from Norway’s Ováte. i could try and dress it up and fill space, and get all sorts of creative with wordplay and shit but listen, all you really need to know that this is project is a duo spearheaded by guitarist /bassist  Aindiachaí who has done live guitars for Taake and Gorgoroth and he’s joined by drummer Brodd who also helps out Taake live. The end result is exactly what you’d expect: Polished, steady, no frills, Norwegian black metal.

Aided in the black, raspy and virtually indistinguishable but fitting vocal department by Taake’s Hoest, Helheim’s V’gandr, Eld from Aeturnus/, Gravdal, Ese (Slegest/ ex Vreid), and Odemark (The 3rd Attempt,/ex Midnattsvrede ), the Norwegian-ness is virtually overflowing from these 5 lengthy, generally mid paced tracks, so those not enjoying the slower, controlled styling of Gorgoroth , Khold, 1999-2000 era Immortal or mid era Satyricon and looking for some thing more seething and scathing should look across the border to Marduk and such.

That all said, this debut is as confident as the veteran line up should be. The mix/master from Dag Erik Nygaard (who also did Abbath’s solo album) is also as you would expect; icy, but clear and powerful, not brittle or vicious, sounding like the big names bands mentioned above. The song writing is safe yet, effective generally staying in a steady double bass trot with an occasional blast beat and some frosty tremolo picked melodies.  Opener “Morgenstjerne” pretty well delivers the template for the rest of the album and uses some pagan-y clean vocals to good effect.

“Song til ein orm” is a little more urgent with a nice mid paced stomp and one of the album’s  rare, very short lived blast beats, “Illhug” is more of the same, (repetitively so), but adds a nice extended lead solo to the fray. The last 2 tracks, “The Horned Forest King”,  and 9 minute closer “Inst i tanken” are my favorites on the album . The former has a really nice mean main riff and a little more variety , and the latter closes out with a really nice atmospheric bridge that leads into a album closing climax with a stern slower march, that can only be termed a ‘true Norwegian black metal’ , which is essentially what this album personifies in spades.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 24th, 2018


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