Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Excellence in metal soundtrackery - 87%

Slynt, June 20th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2011, 2CD, Worlds Apart Records (Limited edition, Digipak)

Lame title for a review I know, but I kind of wanted to capture the essence of "The Immortal": It is excellent, it is metal, and it has elements of movie soundtrack music. If you're thinking Bal-Sagoth you are not far off, but this is still a different beast, though at times the Bal-Sagoth influence shines through. Which is not a bad thing, at least not for me personally, as I love all Bal-Sagoth albums, and there are in my opinion too few bands in this admittedly very narrow genre. So yes, it is pompous, with fierce black metal vocals, but I'd say the (black) metal background of some of the band members shines through as well, making this album darker, grimmer, well ... more Norwegian... than Bal-Sagoth's epics.

This is intelligently crafted, epic and wonderful metal, with a lot of variety, many different moods; there are parts that are pure grim black metal, but at the same time you have all these symphonic elements that add a unique, and at times horror-influenced, atmosphere. This is an album with many layers to discover, a musical journey which few metal bands have taken; some of the orchestral parts are close to Cradle of Filth at their most symphonic; other parts are more like Bal-Sagoth, while the overall experience can be compared to listening to such acts as Obsidian Gate, Anorexia Nervosa, and Tartaros. All draped in a modern production, with a snarling, grim black metal vocal which would have been just as awesome on an old school necro black metal record.

Where Bal-Sagoth sounds more "fantasy", "knightly" in its symphonic layers, Gromth leans more toward epic horror, which also makes a comparison to recent Dimmu Borgir valid; however, "The Immortal" blows all of Dimmu's albums straight out of the water, because the compositions offered here are much more complex, more progressive and sounding less artificial if you know what I mean.

I know I am raving right now but I feel that Norwegian metal magazine Scream was entirely right to award this release with the "Album of the Month" title in their latest issue (October 2011). There is so much to enjoy here, from the frailest beautiful melodies to the grimmest, fiercest blasting metal parts. I am awed, and enjoy every second of this masterpiece; and it is the most rewarding when listened from beginning to end; this is in essence one long composition split into sixteen tracks, a conceptual journey of metallic darkness. Highly recommneded.

If I force myself to come up with something negative to balance my gushing, it must be that I find the lyrics weak (the concept is cool, the execution is flawed); the author could have/should have used someone to correct the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (but hey I teach English). It just takes away something of the overall experience for me personally, because the rest is so well done.

{I originally wrote this review at Rate Your Music in October 2011. In hindsight I might add that another flaw in the album is that wore out its welcome rather quick; there was maybe not enough substance to keep the album interesting over a longer period of time.}