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Immortal are my favourite black metal band, so I'm going to try to be as objective as possible in my review of this masterpiece (did they release any bad albums…? In my opinion, NO!). This album is simply awesome to me and surely it's a piece of black metal history. They are one of the most famous and appreciated black metal bands in the whole scene.
After their death metal beginning in late ‘80s, at the beginning of the ‘90s they began to play a sort of primordial black metal, heavily influenced by early Bathory. After few years, their music increased in speed and originality, like in this snow storm-album. If the album before, Pure Holocaust, was pure black metal in the sound, so raw and cold, this one is different. This one is even faster and the sound is a complete storm made of distorted guitars and wooden drums.
The guitars' distortion is so particular that in none of the albums after or before you could hear the same sound. The treble distortion in the Demonaz's amplifier is so high and intense that is almost unbelievable. His guitar lines create an atmosphere of frost and desolate winter landscapes. Some melodic lines can be found, and they are mostly melodies that remind something epic/cold or something desolated in a complete attack of a snow storm.
The violence that you can find in tracks like the title track or in "Throned By Blackstorms" is incredible and the drums played by Abbath are always fast, a bit raw but always very clean for the production. The blast beats are the trademark of this album, while Abbath's vocals are legendary…so raw, screamed and evil; perfect for this monument to the winter. The epic melodies created by the guitar, always so distorted, in the main riff of "Circling Above In Time Before Time" always send me chills.
The only “slow” song is the legendary "Blashyrkh (Mighty Raven Dark)", where Bathory’s early influences can be found again. This is also the last track of this album that markes more mid paced and epic tempos. At the end of this song, after a cold synth sound, Abbath screams the song's title and immediately after, a distorted, raw and cold guitar solo makes the coldness return like before: snow everywhere!!
This is an incredible album, made of 33 minutes of complete winter storms. The intensity and violence in this album is awesome. A must if you want a piece of winter directly at home, in you stereo.
“IN STORMS I STAND UPON RUINS, INFERNALLY VASTS TAKE MY SIGHT AGAIN, THE LIGHT IS DIM BEFORE ME FOR THE VISION WAS FROST…”