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the second bright point - 94%

vorth, July 11th, 2005

"At the Heart of Winter"... Some conservative Immortal fans probably got a heart attack after hearing such changes - though that album brought no revolution. If they didn't, here's another chance - "Damned in Black" is another step in the direction they surely wouldn't want.

Personally, the path Immortal chose seems to me the best they could have done. They lost everything that annoyed me - musically, as well as in the lyrical sphere. From now on, the sound is just amazing - maybe the best black metal band have ever reached. Guitars sound close to "At the Heart of Winter", but with slight keyboards and catchy riffs, sometimes even melodic, it all makes perfect vision of fresh, modern black metal.

The thing that got changed the most is the songwriting - the songs are more various, shorter than on the previous album, recognisable. Such songs like "Triumph" or "Against the Tide" are just pleasant, but "Damned in Black" or "The Darkness that Embrace Me" are just anthems.

All in all - whatever you say about the earlier recordings, this is a moment when Immortal becomes a really good band. This release is perfect for those, who are tired of raw, badly produced black metal and look for fresh and, let's say "progressive" stuff.