Norwegian Thrash/Death metal outfit Hellish Outcast (originally founded in 2001) released their second installment Stay Of Execution almost two years ago, yet this is my first encounter with it. I don’t understand why I received this album for a review just recently, but it should not prevent me of giving it a fair chance.
Stay Of Execution consists of 11 tracks and it comes as a follow on to their previous installment Your God Will Bleed which was released in the year 2012 .
As devoted readers and fans of this webzine would know, I really like extreme metal in all its variety. Stay Of Execution is no exception, and from this time distance I’m really sad that I didn’t listen to it earlier. It is a record that stays true to its roots and extreme metal herritage while creating a high quality sound. The album is recorded at ‘Grieghallen Studios’ in Bergen, the legendary location where several key Norwegian (black) metal albums were produced. I think one can sense the atmosphere and history while listening to this kick-ass sonic assault. In other words; Stay Of Execution is a sinister opus succesfully blending the aggression and heaviness with some clean parts. It is delivered very tight and with a discipline and professionalism one can only admire.
Thus, the vocals are often among the darkest elements of the album and they suits the whole image of the band perfectly. Instruments are heavy, dark, but to times also chaotic, in a true nature of this kind of a release. I esp. enjoyed great guitar riffs that one could head bang to insanity. The production is also top drawer!
This is a piece of a hard-hitting collection of anthemic tracks where esp. “The Wait” (a perfectly placed instrumental closing track), “Leave” (a track that also uses female voices), self-titled “Stay Of Execution” (a groove laden monolith), “Hunter Supreme” (the most brutal track off the record) and “Torment” (see video bellow) are just some of the examples of how diverse and interesting an extreme album can sound nowadays. Stay Of Execution genuinely has no weak tracks, with each song flowing into the next with the utmost confidence.
Hellish Outcast isn’t reinventing the genre, but they are doing a good job of keeping it brutal, dark, strong and aggressive. For more info on this extreme act from neighboring Norway go to hellishoutcast.bigcartel.com