Ováte is a new entity on the Norwegian black metal scene, though they feature some heavy hitters on guest vocals. In addition to the main duo of Brodd (drums) and Aindiachaí (guitars, bass), the following all contribute to the vocals: Hoest (Taake & Gorgoroth), V’Gandr (Helheim & Taake), Eld (Krakow & Aeturnus), Ese (Slegest), and Ødemark (The 3rd Attempt). That’s quite a list of heavy hitters! Lest you think the vocals steal the day, let me assure you that you would be making an incorrect assumption. The vocals are, for obvious reasons, very strong.
But the music is every bit as strong. While the core duo don’t re-invent the wheel here, I don’t think they really try to. They play Norwegian black metal and they play it very well. The riffs are savage. The drumming is a rock solid mix of blasting and a more tempered slow burning groove. The pacing is just about perfect, with a variety of mid-paced speeds either pushing forward or pulling back. This seems to be determined by the needs to the song, as in, does the listener need to be pushed headlong into the fire, or does they need to be kept there for slow roasting. Through five tracks, Ováte march through a metaphorical burning forest, intent on destruction and malice. If Norwegian black metal is your thing, tune into the darkness. This one’s a keeper! (Hayduke X)