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Long and Epic Blackened Thrash - 89%

TheSomberlain, January 19th, 2006

This is Immortal's fifth album, released in 1999 and starts up their third era. Blackened thrash metal is to be found on this album. Abbath moves to guitar replacing injured co-founder Demonaz and Iscariah joins the band to play bass. Horgh is still behind the drum kit. This lineup will be the same for the last three Immortal albums. First thing that's noticed is the length of this album, 6 songs at almost 47 minutes (compared to Blizzard Beasts, 8 songs at about 29). I'm not complaining about the length as I think most albums should be between the 35-50 minute mark, it's just that a few songs go on for too long and actually start to become a little boring. It doesn't happen all that often maybe 2 times, but it's still the first time I've been a little bored listening to an Immortal album.

Abbath goes for an epic black/thrash riff assault on this album and for the most part succeeds. Withstand the Fall of Time and Where Dark and Light Don't Differ (which has some deeper Abbath vocals) hit you with headbanging riff after headbanging riff. Solarfall is the masterpiece on this album. It's kind of like Mountains of Might part 2, thrashier but not as good.

As for the somewhat boring parts. Years of Silent Sorrow, the closing track is a solid closer it just doesn't have the air guitar-like riffs that the rest of the album has. Tragedies Blows at Horizon would have been an Immortal classic if it was maybe 2 minutes shorter. At 9 minutes it doesn't hold your attention as say A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland does.

This album is not at all a bad one, it's a very solid album in fact. It just doesn't compare to Blizzard Beasts, Pure Holocaust or Battles in the North. But Immortal has set the bar so high to me with those three albums that anything that is not perfect can be seen as somewhat of a disappointment. As far as blackened thrash goes this is one of the better releases, and Immortal's best of their blackened thrash style. Highly recommended.