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Good Raw Black Metal - 77%

ict1523, August 17th, 2005

Immortal is one of the best known black metal bands out there, and this album surely displays some classic black metal and is not a disappointment for real black metal fans. This is raw and I'll say it right here that the production even considering that this was recorded around 13 years ago is downright HORRIBLE! But the music is still very good nonetheless.

Here we have moments when the drums are furiously fast. A classic example of that is the first minute or so of "The Call of the Wintermoon". It amazes me everytime I listen to that section as I wonder how its possible to beat the drums so damn fast and hit every note correctly. Some other great things about the album is that it sounds so very raw and dark. Almost throughout the whole duration of this album you almost feel like you are lost in the middle of Norway on a freezing and snowy night. Immortal mentions snow and cold a lot in their lyrics and it is kind of their theme and they certainly let you feel it not only hear it from the words of the lyrics. I also like Abbath's vocals here. His screams while not the best I've heard are definately good and his growling is decent too although I would have liked to hear it better as the instruments seemed to drown the vocals out. You can't hear them too well, but even if you did you likely wouldn't be able to understand them.
I also like the acoustic pieces on this album and for what is probably the first time in my life I wish there were more. They go in very well with a cold, dark, and snowy setting and sound very nice and almost mystifying. And the last good thing I wish to add to this is the little solos that are present here. I love them. They are screechy, long, and somewhat melodic. Not as screechy so that you feel like someone is scraping the blackboard or that you're listening to Pantera instead of Immortal, but enough to add more feeling to the evil and somewhat to the melody.

Some complaints I have about this album is that it feels very repetitive. For example, the beginnings of "Cold Winter of Funeral Dust" and "Blacker Than Darkness" are almost identical except "Blacker Than Darkness" doesn't sound as raw. Most of the album has similar riffs and melodies. It almost sounds as if you're listening to the same song. While I still like the album and the overall melodies I would have liked for at least some variation. And of course, the main bug, they should have had some better production. It is simply horrid and the only positive thing to come out of it is that it makes the album sound even more raw. But a little production at times doesn't hurt.

Anyway this album is a very good one, especially since this was the band's debut, and its a shame they had to split up. Every fan of black metal should own this.