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Inconsistent - 65%

ict1523, February 22nd, 2007

I have been a fan of Immortal and have liked most of their material produced up to this point. This album is still good, however a great album grabs and holds my attention from start to finish, this does nothing close to that.

There are great songs and sections, however there are other sections that are boring and bland and way too repetitive. I like epic music, I don't mind if great riffs are repeated to get an epic feel, however many of the riffs here sound thrashy but have no substance to make them the least bit interesting. I also don't really like Abbath's vocals on here, it sounds like he has a sore throat half the time, he has done better before.

Some highlights are the solo in "Triumph" which is short, but sounds harsh yet melodic, it is also put in the background so it creates a cool effect. "Against the Tide" is a good song, it is one of the more melodic songs on the album. The riffs here still repeat a lot, however the riffs themselves are more complicated and melodic which makes them sound less bland. "The Darkness That Embrace Me" is probably the best song on the album, mainly because it has more of an atmosphere to it. You don't hear just the riffs, drums, and vocals, you hear a more thick sound as well as some sounds in the background that just make the music more pleasant to listen to.

Overall, this album has a similar sound to "At The Heart of Winter", following the same general structure with the lengthier songs, however this album is definitely more thrashy and less melodic. The album also doesn't contain much atmosphere, which is essential to a more interesting and thicker sound. While this album is still good, I really have no desire to keep listening to it. The first part of "Sons of Northern Darkness" will take the more thrashy element that is present here and perfect it, this album just sounds a bit bland and boring.