Outre-Tombe – Nécrovortex Review

After three years and a guitarist change, Quebecois old-school death metal outfit Outre-Tombe has returned with its sophomore record Nécrovortex. While this author is only passingly familiar with the group’s debut Répurgation, Nécrovortex manages to conjure quite a different vibe without abandoning the band’s essential sonic ethos. The school in question is still old, but there is a somewhat more refined approach this time around. Refined being a relative term, of course, when it comes to what is still some rather bloodthirsty death metal.

Release date: October 17, 2018.
Label: Temple of Mystery Records
Track one “La Crypte” is a good indicator of what Nécrovortex has to offer compared to its predecessor. The song eases in with some sound effects and then begins properly with a tension-building riff that balances a little melody and a bit of bashing. Then a funny thing happens when the tension is eventually released: the guitars go charging forward, as one would expect, with some thrashy chugging, but the drums lay back a bit. Drummer Vitesse keeps his feet busy with some double bass, but he is not blasting away on the snare like one would expect. Instead he is grooving, riding the riff instead of driving it. It is a subtle nuance to be sure, but with restraint being such a rare commodity in death metal the result is actually quite striking. In a sense, this little passage is a microcosm of the album as a whole: This time around, Outre-Tombe is more prone to choose finesse over savagery, and Nécrovortex is a bit more musical because of it.


Overall, despite some refinement, Nécrovortex is still a pretty rotten death metal record. Vocalist/bassist Crachat has a voice that sounds like a cross between Martin van Drunen at his most haggard and Chuck Schuldiner at his screamiest bloodiest goriest (and don’t miss the Tom G. Warrior-approved death grunt in “Concile Cadavérique”), which keeps Outre-Tombe firmly in the filth. Furthermore, Nécrovortex has plenty of instances of unabashed, old-school brutality, and you don’t have to wait like to hear one, as track two “Désintégration” pretty much roars full-throttle from it’s Slayer-esque opening solo to its cacophonous close.

Solos were definitely a highlight of Répurgation, and the exit of lead guitarist Danger might have been some cause for concern, but his replacement Désastre fills Danger’s shoes quite nicely. Danger was a bit more of a technical and melodic player, but Désastre is just as expressive and exciting, if a bit more chaotic.

Did I mention that the riffs were good? They are, and there are shit-loads of them. Need a little melodically induced madness? Check out the second riff in “Aberration.” Searching for a some dirge-y doom-death? The mid-section of “Concile Cadavérique”, has just what the doctor ordered. Sublimely evil tremolo-riffs? “Vengeance Spectrale” has you covered. Grooves, you say? Those are friggin’ everywhere.

Regardless of Outre-Tombe’s subtle change in approach, Nécrovortex is some high-order old-school death metal. In a crowded field and to a very jaded writer, this album is a standout. To put it in perspective, if Répurgation was Reign in Blood, Nécrovortex is South of Heaven: it might seem like a bit of a let-down initially, but in time you’ll likely come to realize it is a magnificent album in its own right.

Posted by Jeremy Morse

Riffs or GTFO.

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