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Blizzard Beasts Pt. II - 40%

Nocturnal_Abyss, October 11th, 2006

This is a horrible album. Fans of "Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism" and "Pure Holocaust" beware. Even the epic, melodic feel of "At the Heart of Winter" has been replaced with the jerky, stop/start riffing reminiscent of "Blizzard Beasts." The horrible production from Abyss Studios makes this album even worse, as it sounds more like a Swedish Death Metal release (Hypocrisy) than Norwegian Black Metal. The songs are short and uninspired. The lyrical content that Immortal has been known for is also absent. Gone are the beautiful, grim images of winter landscapes. I've really tried to give this album a chance, but it is just very disappointing. There is very little of the fast tremolo picking and blastbeats here...it is much more thrashy and mid-paced. In my opinion, the first two Immortal albums can't be topped. "Battles In the North" is very good, but is still a step down from the first two. "Blizzard Beasts" is horrible in almost every way, from the lame songwriting to the atrocious production job. "At the Heart of Winter" featured a different approach than the earlier albums, but was still much better than "Blizzard Beasts", and unfortunately "Damned In Black" abandons the style begun on the previous album. They would return to this for "Sons of Northern Darkness" but for this release, they seemed to be afraid of the fan reaction, maybe. Even the vocals seem weak and uninspired. Track one, "Triumph" is probably the high point of the album, and it's still not very good. It sounds as if Abbath was battling severe throat cancer, because it is weak as hell.

For those who are very narrow-minded, avoid this release. And for those who are a bit more open-minded about later Immortal, I'd still recommend that you avoid this one. "Damned In Black" is tied with "Blizzard Beasts" as the worst release in Immortal's career...