Review by Fernando on September 21, 2021.
Even more death metal today! I've already done a lot of diatribes about the whole "old school death metal revival" trend so instead of saying what everyone already has, let's get to talk about one of the absolute best acts in the trend, Quebec's own Outre-Tombe and their third full length Abysse Mortifère, to be released on Halloween (appropriate) by Temple of Mystery.
So yeah, Outre-Tombe are one of the many bands that lighted the torch for the OSDM trend of the last couple of years, alongside their fellow Canadian compatriots Tomb Mold, and for Outre-Tombe in particular their first 2 records both cemented them as one of the best OSDM acts but also a really good band in their own right. Their brand of classic death metal which focuses on thick riffs that switch from sludgy to speedy, dynamic but straightforward drumming, the dry Chuck Schuldiner inspired vocals and what made them unique, their eerie and horror laden atmosphere all were displayed in those 2 records, and with this third LP, the band continue improving their chops but have also developed what can only be described as raw technicality in their music.
The descriptor of "raw technicality" is indeed where Outre-Tombe shines and excels with Abysse Mortifère. The sound is very much emblematic of OSDM. It has that raw late 80's style of production, but the actual performances on the instrumental side have an intense technical proficiency that's reminiscent of Morbid Angel in their heyday and Death's middle transitional period. Outre-Tombe don't just pay tribute to the titans of the genre. Their ability to create a heavy horror atmosphere with nothing but their straightforward approach and the occasional slow or mid pace moment to add variety and dynamics to the music. The only real flaw is the uniformity of the entire music, but the band play with such style and proficiency that its only a flaw if you don't enjoy death metal or are sick of the whole OSDM revival.
The final aspect of why this is another strong offering is the performances of the band. To say that they're tight and have excellent chemistry with each other is an understatement. Its easy to dismiss the OSDM trend as just a recreation or pantomime of early 90's death metal, but where Outre-Tombe is outstanding is how they aren't just passionate about the genre, they have a clear understanding of what works of death metal, distill it's best elements and give it their own spooky spin, and they succeed in that through their performances as a unit, every single member and their instruments are essential components of the whole, and the end results speak for themselves.
Overall while Outre-Tombe aren't reinventing the wheel or anything, they still display the best elements of death metal, the legitimacy of the OSDM trend, as well as their trailing their own path as an excellent modern-day band to follow.
Best tracks: 'Cenobytes', 'Desossé’, 'Haruspex'
Rating: 8.3 out of 10902