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Essential - 96%

TheSomberlain, January 19th, 2006

Immortal's second album from 1993 is a black metal classic. The "kvlt" black metal fans that all dismiss newer Immortal releases as being crap would all say this is the high-point of this bands career. I think of Immortal as having three seperate eras. There's the old school black metal era, the fast as fuck era and then the more epic blackened thrash era. This album ends their old school black metal era, and not taking anything away from the album that came before this, this is definitely their best from that period.

Where to start? Well the production is marginally better than that on Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism but still has that nice semi-underproduced sound. Most songs are relatively short but contain that epic feeling, Unsilent Storms in the North Abyss for example. Abbath does a mediocre job on drums, but the riffs and atmosphere are what makes this album a masterpiece.

The last two songs on this album are both worth mentioning. I don't like giving a song-by-song review as it usually tends to get boring, but these two songs are the highlights of this album. First is As the Eternity Opens and damn the riff playing throughout this song is amazing. The album closer is the title track and ranks as one of my favorite Immortal songs ever and favorite from this period of their career. This song is black fucking metal!

This album is pretty much perfect from start to finish. Immortal would release more popular albums after this, some with better riffs but none of them have the epicness and atmosphere of Pure Holocaust. This ranks as my second favorite Immortal album and is a must for everyone into metal.