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This is Immortal?! - 60%

CoffinText, March 9th, 2007

Death Metal was a huge craze from about ‘87 to about ‘93, not solely in Florida or Brazil either, but world wide seemingly. Hell, even most of the Norwegian Black Metal bands of the early 90s, whom rivaled Death Metal during that time period, went through a phase of playing it sometime in the late 80s and very early 90s. Mayhem, Dark Throne, Varg (back in Old Funeral), and yes, even Immortal. Prior to releasing this demo, they were called Amputation, playing the typical brand of brutal, old school Death Metal. Even by the time the band changed their name to Immortal, they had still been playing this style of music. This demo sounds nothing like what would be released by the band a year later, much less two or three years later.

Now the biggest surprise to any Immortal fan upon hearing this demo would be the vocals. Being deep, guttural and twisted, Abbath strays far away from his latter day use of cold, harsh, raspy shrieks. It’s almost shocking to know that this is the same guy on albums like Pure Holocaust and Battles In The North. Really, it is. He even outdoes Chris Barnes, at times. Musically, these songs aren’t strictly fast, although the band does their fair share of blasting throughout the demo. The brutality factor is mainly present in the vocals, ultra raw production, and that down tuned, muddy guitar. I mean, if you want band comparisons, I guess I can best compare this to the old Death demos, Sarcophago, early Morbid Angel and Deathcrush-era Mayhem. Just to give you an idea of what the band was aiming for here.
So much like the afformentioned bands, these tracks are often very thrashy. This is most noticeable with Left On The Stake. The most brutal, or probably the fastest track on this demo, would be Suffocate The Masses. Actually, all the tracks sound pretty damn similar to one another, following the same basic formula. But often, the badass riffs are drowned out by the incredibly poor production. But hey, this is a self released/produced demo after all. It’s still pretty fucking good, if you’re into primitive Death Metal.

Not all fans of Immortal will enjoy this, I can guarantee you that. Unless they’re also into early Death Metal, they’ll be put off instantly. Even some Death Metal fans themselves might, just because of the lo-fi production. It’s mixed badly, but like I said earlier, what more could you expect from a bunch of armature musicians self producing their own demo? By the way, this is Immortal’s only demo, technically. The Promo ‘91 demo released a year later is supposedly the same thing, just under a different name and missing the outro. The band would totally change their musical style after its release.