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A new style & A different approach. - 84%

tallhagillani, November 8th, 2007

This production of this album started with a controversy as Daemonaz was diagnosed with acute tendenitis, due to which he was unable to play guitar for a little while but there was also the fact so that when he'd be ready to play guitars, he'd not be able to play guitars at the speed that is suitable for Immortal's music, so he decided that he'll just write lyrics and take the managerial role for the band. Having said that we come back to Immortal's "At the heart of winter", according to some people it is one of the best black metal album as Immortal changed their sound with this album. Abbath is now playing guitars as well, along with the bass and Vocals while Horgh is behind the drums.

The album is somewhat heavier but rather melodic than Blizzard Beasts, it has been recorded in the Abyss studios in Sweden and is immaculately produced by Peter Tagtren i.e. the production is really good, until this album Immortal has never used good production in any of their albums so this is the main change that gives the sound its new identity.

The songs are really lengthy, there are only six songs with duration over 45 minutes resulting in some boring parts among almost each song. The song structure is not ideal and its really shameful. The songs have some elements of old school thrash metal with the modern black metal sound with some melodic and amazing guitar riffs with brutal drumming, the bass is very difficult to hear as it disappears among the riffs and the blasts. The vocals are mediocre and lack enthusiasm and passion.

"Where the dark & light don't differ" is my favourite song of this album, this album has created a lot of fuss and is considered one of the best black metal albums ever, I however disagree, the sound is good and is very near to being great but it just isn't. Long song structure and mediocre vocals are the main drawbacks of this album. "Where Dark & Light Don't Differ" along with few other songs makes it difficult for me to give this album a mediocre rating, because track no. 5 (At The Heart Of Winter) & 6 (Years Of Silent Sorrow) are really good as well. Fans who love the old Darkthrone will not enjoy the new Immortal sound, but blackened thrash and melodic death metal fans will cherish this album a lot. It contains something for every metalhead like fast and melodic riffs, brutal drumming, good lyrics, cold and grim atmosphere.