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The Damnation Sounds So Good... - 90%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, April 30th, 2008

In my opinion, Immortal never published bad albums, even if they passed through different kinds of extreme metal. With Blizzard Beast we could find new elements in their sound that marked thrasher influences and with the following, awesome At The Heart Of Winter we had the explosion of those influences. Someone was a bit shocked, listening to such different sonorities but Immortal didn’t care and with this Damned In Black they present us another strong effort, this time more obscure than in the past, filling their sound with death metal influences too.

“Triumph” is one of the greatest songs ever by Immortal and surely one of the best openers I ever listened to. It mixes in a perfect way the schizophrenic black/thrash riffage with long, epic galloping parts. There’s always a keyboard touch in the middle part to give the sound an even more epic feeling. “Wrath From Above” has a long, epic intro and than the main riff destroys everything for malevolence and death metal influences. Abbath at the voice and guitars is simply unique. Horgh destroys his drum kit with class and power, lots of blast beats and slow stomps.

It seems that Immortal in this album preferred to hit hard, focusing the attention on the sheer violence instead of filling their sound with acoustic parts like in the previous album. That’s normal because those more acoustic influences were perfect for an album whose name was At The Heart Of Winter to create that glacial atmosphere but here, in Damned In Black, the sound in blacker and darker.

“Against The Tide” is the third song-masterpiece in a row for this album. It’s epic, majestic and frozen. The lyrics as always are about frozen, North landscapes and places. They’re always the same ones but they are always able to send me different emotions anytime I read them. I love Immortal also for this reason. “My Dimension” is the classic example of icy violence with lots of blast beats/up tempo and truly cold guitars sounds. The few sols in the songs are great to fill the sound with another frozen violence for their aggressive shredding.

“The Darkness That Embrace Me” is mostly epic thanks to a good presence of the keyboards and excellent guitars work on the solid drums work. The hyper blasting “In Our Mystic Visions Blest” is one of the fastest ones here with good tempo changes but it seems a bit derivative, not for the song itself but compared to the following title track: massive epic hymn. It’s a march towards the darkness of hell…it’s simply glorious in its epic feeling.

Overall, this album is very good, especially during the first three songs and the last one. The other ones are always good but nothing if compared to those little masterpieces. Immortal are a great band and they proved it once again. The Kings always reign supreme.