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Immortal's third album, Battles In The North, is a great classic in the black metal genre. It's a very fast and violent release, with epic melodies and a tremendous voice by the frontman Abbath. It was recorded in the legendary Grieghallen Studios in september '94, but it's often underrated because of the crushing production. Instead I believe that this sound fits the songwriting perfectly: it's very aggressive and cold, it reminds me of a blizzard.
Every song is characterized by fast blast beats over frozen-distorted guitars. The vocals are recorded very loud and they seem to be overdriven, which gives even more violence to the release. Unfortunately the bass guitar isn't always well audible, with the exception of the intro of Cursed Realms Of The Winterdemons, in my opinion the best song on this album. The drums are very audible and a little raw, in particular the snare and the ride cymbal. Abbath's work with the drumkit isn't always perfect, I don't mean he looses the tempos, but there are some parts that could have been done better. The work from the guitars in instead perfect: they sound very distorted, but also very cold and atmospheric.
Battles In The North is one of Immortal's most famous releases. It's not atmospheric like Blizzard Beasts or obcure like Pure Holocaust but is incredibly more furious. The perfect soundtrack for a demonic battle through the northern snowfalls in obscure and forlorn valleys! It also contains many of their most famous anthems like, for example, the title track or Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark). A must-have for every black metal winterdemon!
Highlights: Battles In The North, Moonrise Fields Of Sorrow, Cursed Realms Of The Winterdemons and Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark).