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Epic Black Masterpiece - 93%

ict1523, November 4th, 2005

This album is once again different. It takes some changes brought on by Blizzard Beasts and goes further with them. This album is relatively heavy, although rather melodic, it is very well produced, and best of all the songs are all very well structured and much longer than in previous albums. Instead of being 2-4 minutes long, they are more like 6-8 minutes long. And no they don’t get boring.

Withstand the Fall of Time is a lengthy melodic song, the riffs are awesome and catchy, and they do repeat, but they’re so awesome I’m happy they repeat so I can listen to them more than once without restarting the song over and over. Abbath’s vocals are also very good. The “Still the tundra lay untouched” sections have the best riffs overall on the song, and one of the best on the album.

Solarfall is another very melodic song, it is rather bombastic also with great drums and guitars. It also isn’t as repetitive as the first track which to me doesn’t make a difference but could be good to some people that can’t stand any repetition whatsoever. The song overall doesn’t grasp my attention as well as the first one but its still awesome.

Tragedies Blows At Horizon and Where Dark and Light Don’t Differ are rather more of the same with great melodies and riffs. The songs manage to keep your attention through the whole duration. Tragedies Blows At Horizon even has a little acoustic piece towards the end.

The title track, At The Heart of Winter is the best song on the album. For the first 2 minutes or so it is a quiet and dark acoustic piece before it goes into a rather melodic song for the remainder of the time. The riffs at 2:39 are some of the best on the whole album and they repeat about 3 more times in the rest of the song. Simply addicting.

Years of Silent Sorrow is a great song mainly because it does sound different from the previous songs, still relatively melodic although the riffs do sound different and perhaps not as dark.

Overall this is a great album, I liked Blizzard Beasts more, but awesome indeed. It doesn’t get boring quickly and I have to say if it weren’t for the dark Northland feeling to it and Abbath’s black metal style vocals, the music would almost sound like melodic death. While different to Immortal fans, this new era is better not worse. I for one am glad they changed because another Pure Holocaust or Battles in the North would likely put me to sleep.