Ováte - Ováte - (7.5/10)
Published on June 4, 2018
Ováte is the band where Taake live guitarist, Aindiachaí seeks to carve his own dark, shadowed space in the realm of black metal independent of his older compatriots. What we get on offer here is some very stern and aggressive black metal that holds up the genre’s traditional sound very well. Of course, this is to be expected of someone who was skilled enough to have played in Taake, but also in Gorgoroth, both bands that have a strong reputation and a solid pedigree in the genre. However, aside from all that pomp, it seems like this two-man project (the other partner being Taake drummer, Brodd) has the chops to produce some really aggressive, biting black metal regardless of their history when you hear the music. While they may not be reinventing the wheel here, Ováte do show a strong inclination towards rapid-fire tremolo riffing and some impact-laden drum volleys that make their songs roll and blast despite being very traditional to the style. It’s the sort of stuff that grits its teeth in glee at new prey just as black metal should and makes for some good new material.
Musically, Ováte does traditional black metal very well with the production of the album sounding very clear, but also very cutting to make the guitars come in like razor wire and the drums pop like cannons with every hit of the snare. It’s not a big departure from the sort of stuff that you’d be familiar with on Gorgoroth’s or Taake’s output of very riff-focused black metal that doesn’t try to dazzle you with weird atmospheres or odd playing styles, instead just going for a flat-out aggressive piece of old-school tremolos coiled around stomping riff patterns. The riffs do well to create an almost whirlwind quality to the sound of this album that makes it good to bang your head along to. Though, this leads to a factor which decides how much you’ll like this album and that is how long you can enjoy a certain riff and how much impact that riff carries. I can definitely see more impact from “Morgenstjerne” and “Song til ein orm” than from “Illug” since their riffs are more driving and they use them in concert with everything else to make a punchy black metal song, while “Illug” just sort of sits there. There is also the inclusion of occasional low, throaty, Nordic-style vocals on the closing sections to a few of these tracks and they do add a nice break from the norm with something interesting and melodic to contrast the darkened assault. With all of this being said, these songs do have subtle progressions to keep everything moving well and the crisp sound of it all makes for a good listen. If you want some back-to-basics, blackened whirlwinds to darken your spirits, Ováte is a solid album, even if it is really similar to the other bands that helped birth it.
I’d have to say that Ováte is off to a good start with this self-titled debut. If you feel you need a bit of black metal that puts its strength in it’s riffs and cuts fairly sharp, this will scratch your itch, especially if you are a fan of one of the other bands Aindiachaí was a part of in recent years. While it may not be a brand-new take on blackened aggression, this does deliver plenty of hard hitting rushes of wolfish riffs and pummeling drums that are a great expression of simple, darkened rage. Some people may need a little more than that to get them going, but what we have here is fierce set of songs with rhythms that fly like birds of prey in a storm performed by two extremely capable musicians. It works solidly as a back-to-basics demonstration of black metal. It also shows that this band is in a solid spot to build upon this, especially if “Morgenstjerne” is anything to go by. It seems like Ováte are off to a decent start and it will lead to some solid future blackened assaults.