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Grim. And. Frostbitten. - 90%

madironmaiden, February 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Season of Mist (Limited edition, Digibook)

I knew this album was going to be good. After hearing the three tracks Abbath had released, I was sure this was going to be a killer album. In fact, as soon as I had finished reviewing "Ashes of the Damned", I pre-ordered the album. I bought the collector box set with all the goodies in it. It arrived four days before the release date, but since I absentmindedly had shipped it to my parents' house... I had to wait until the actual release date to listen to it (because I refused to listen to the album online before I had the CD). But it was so worth the wait and the money.

Abbath's creative ability is very obvious in this album. Abbath is clearly a very creative, talented individual, even without Immortal. And although I miss him being in Immortal, I am more than pleased with his solo work. Each track is heavy and his vocals keep the grim atmosphere. This new album's sound is actually somewhat similar to the sound of Abbath's other solo project, I. His work is not so blackened and harsh as Immortal's work is, but the heaviness and grimness make it unique and still enjoyable to listen to. Those who prefer a much darker, blacker sound may be caught by surprise, but will probably end up listening through the whole album. My favorite track is probably "To War!". I liked the heaviness and intensity of the track, honestly. It was five and a half minutes of pure, intense Abbath-ness (for lack of a better term). I also liked "Ashes of the Damned", as I have mentioned in previous reviews. It's still one of my favorite tracks off the album. I think it appeals to me because it is experimental, yet everything you would expect from Abbath. The entire album is the same way. Abbath experiments with new elements while keeping his music as grim and frostbitten as you would expect and hope for. Abbath has certainly made his split with Immortal work and has allowed his creativity and musical genius to continue into this new project.

Abbath did a cover of Judas Priest's "Riding On The Wind". I have a few things to say about that. I liked the guitar style and the fact that although it sounded like the original, it had its own unique touch to it. However... Abbath and Rob Halford do not have similar vocal types at all. Halford has much more range with his voice and has a style that is impossible to replicate. Abbath did better than a lot of other vocalists who try to cover Priest. He already is accustomed to doing harsher vocals. But he simply does not have the same range and fluidity that Rob Halford has with his voice. Abbath is definitely a black metal vocalist and not a traditional metal vocalist. But he did do as well as he could with what he has, and he did very well with the music itself.

Overall I am impressed by this album and absolutely love it. I give it a 9/10, only because of the cover track. If Abbath had done a track that was a little better suited to his range and vocal style, I think I may have been able to give this album a 10/10. The creativity and brilliance of this album completely blew me away. My hope is that Abbath continues with this project and keeps demonstrating his musical genius. He and his band mates do such good work, and I would love to hear more work from them. The album is suitably grim and frostbitten, and I can't wait for more.

*originally from my tumblr*