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Outlaw - Reaching Beyond Assiah review

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Band: Outlaw
Album: Reaching Beyond Assiah
Release date: March 2023

01. Bliss Of Soul
02. To Burn This World And Dissolve The Flesh
03. Beyond The Realms Of God
04. The Unending Night
05. Everything That Becomes Nothing
06. The Serpent’s Chant
07. Reaching Beyond Assiah

Be honest. You clicked on this because of the cover art.

There are several striking reasons why Outlaw's third release caught my eye. Let's get the most obvious one out of the way: the cover art. The fiery picture of a blue-skinned demon immediately reminded me of the cover art of Cult Of Fire's album, in which the fierce Hindu goddess Kali is depicted. So, I thought to myself, will the album's lyrical content be centered around East Asian themes as well? The title Reaching Beyond Assiah refers, however, to Jewish esoteric terminology, in which "Assiah" means the "world of action", i.e. the world we live in. Still, Reaching Beyond Assiah seems to deal with escaping our plane of existence, presumably to reach some form of enlightenment.

If you had told me of a Brazilian band named Outlaw some weeks ago, I would have instinctively thought they played some rebellious music like punk or thrash metal. Instead, it turns out that this South American group founded by frontman Daniel Souza has been playing melodic black metal since 2015. Lyrically, the debut album Path Of Darkness had some songs that used Hindu terminology about the end of the universe ("Mahapralaya") and our current era of strife ("Kali Yuga"). The second album, The Fire In My Tomb, dealt with Luciferean topics as well as more abstract, cosmic concepts. Musically, their previous efforts demonstrated a sound clearly influenced by Swedish meloblack classics, and Outlaw even paid tribute to this inspiration with a worthy cover song of Dissection's "The Somberlain" on their debut LP.

This third installment offers a ramped-up iteration of their previous style. Both intensity and melody have been increased, while the astral lyrical themes have been further explored. The incessantly blasting drums can be tough on the ears for extensive periods of time, as they are far more prominent in the mix than in Outlaw's previous releases. Yet, the aggressive percussion is balanced out by the melodious guitar riffing. The various instruments are packed closely together, creating a very dense black metal substance that offers few moments of breathing room. It's a lot to take in, and it took me several listens to fully digest this fast-paced, multi-layered musicianship.

In a way, the claustrophobic, crowded pummeling interspersed by some slower, melodic moments mirrors the lyrical content about being trapped in this world, longing to break free to the stars. Strained vocals drenched in desperation cry out for "release from the pain", wishing to escape this "plane of life" and reaching a state "Beyond Devil, beyond God / Beyond flesh, beyond blood". With talk of black holes, crossing "the barriers that shackle our minds", and "amorphous fullness of non-self" (yeah, whatever that means), the lyrics place the soaring melodies into a context of mortality, enlightenment, and cosmic ascension.

Overall, Outlaw doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel with Reaching Beyond Assiah, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying 44 minutes of well-crafted melodic black metal that aims to propel listeners from this material world into vast, cosmic depths.

Written on 30.03.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 66 users
30.03.2023 - 22:18
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Whit out your review ost if us would never know such band exist.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
30.03.2023 - 22:24
Rating: 8
Nocturnal Bro
Written by Bad English on 30.03.2023 at 22:18

Whit out your review ost if us would never know such band exist.

I hope my reviews will continue to share more little-known bands with you all!
01.04.2023 - 02:49
Rating: 8
At best deranged
Enjoyed this one quite a bit. Like you mentioned in your review, it doesn't offer anything particularly new, but it's an incredibly enjoyable listen.

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