Ováte - Ováte LP (Soulseller Records, 2018)
For years I didn't simply expect nothing convincing out of black metal's actual mothercountry Norway, I really wasn't checking out newer acts at all. Actually it was Sweden that ruled (or rules?) the battlefiled of traditional black metal. And then, out of nothing, I stumble over Ováte, a Norwegian duo, that was, er, formed by two constant members of Hoests live line-up. But what those two guys and an actual handful of (more or less legendary) session vocalists are delivering here is just about fascinating!
"Ováte" very quickly turns into an absolute jawdropper as it gathers a damn lot of that old feeling. Of course, musical frames are set by impellent Taake-style riffing, that's way ahead of anything Hoest released since "Bjoergvin". But it's not the post 2000'ssound that's so intriguing here. "Ováte" becomes a highly addictive album, once all those old school nuances are discovered. It was managed to set regular reminders throughout the songs, that sound a lot like mid-90's to early 2000's (midtempo) Enslaved. And this is simply a damn great achievement!
For example "Song Til Ein Orm" starts off with a proper headbanger riff quite comparable to Khold's groove only to show off with an almost criminally fascinating blend of Enslaved's "Frost" and Satyricon's "Shadowthrone" against its mid. Or there's the striking "The Horned Forest King" that sprinkles an idea of Plaguewielder-ish Darkthrone over a mixture of "Hordanes Land" and aforementioned "Bjoergvin". Honestly, I'm deeply impressed by this record (lim 300)!
I however doubt "Ováte"'s a modern classic of the genre, because it acts perfectly within its relatively tight borders and has no sense for innovation, whatsoever. But it could very well turn into a personal classic due to its brilliant revivification of this old and exclusively Norwegian style.
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