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By far, the best Immortal release ever. Cold, dark, desolate, unrelenting, obscure, raw, traces of evil and sheer dominance. As a 2-piece they really went to the most creative release in their entire discography. A shame that Demonaz is no longer on guitar, but Abbath does a good job on the rhythm/lead sessions, though a little choppy. Demonaz writes all the lyrics for the Immortal albums including this one and they totally fit with the atmosphere.
The rhythm guitar riffs contain bar chord frenzies, clean tone overtures (though not many), tremolo picked guitar with blast beating and just music that is entirely original. Not many black metal albums can surpass this one. It's strength in the songwriting section is superior and everything flows absolutely perfectly. Amazing that there are only 2 members on here that dish out some of the most classic music amongst this entire black metal genre.
Musically, they offer many different things here as I've emphasized. That is the quality in the musicianship and chunky guitar, thrash metal like except for the clean tone riffing. Impeccably orchestrated rhythm guitar here on these 6 tracks. Songs range between 6-8 minutes in length totaling about 45+ music of the best Immortal album forever. I can't stress how important it is to own this album to you sick people that enjoy this genre like me.
Abbath's vocals are odd as they always are and feature a little bit of reverb sounding to make it sound even darker than it really is. Every single song just dominates. Tempo changes, blast beating, grimness, synthesizers to make things sound even more evil and darkness descends. A black metal accomplishment that is amongst the ranks of the all time forever best release even amongst albums such as Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas".
The lyrical topics feature writings that cover grimness, winter, war, winterdemons and blashyrkh. These writings as I've said were written by Demonaz. To this date, he is still contributing on their lyric writings. I think that like I said before the lyrical concepts fit the music so well. Abbath simply spews them forward as they're written. Not mindless songs about Satanism and evil, more well thought out than tons of other black metal bands.
Overall, a simple triumph of a release. If you haven't heard this album yet and you like black metal, check it out on YouTube. A must have to all of you black metal fans! I can't say any more positive things about this release that I haven't already said. It's just a masterpiece and if you listen to it and am not impressed, then your taste in black metal is bitter. There's nothing wrong with this album whatsoever. It completely dominates and own it today!