I'm usually not the biggest Black Metal fan but there are indeed some very good bands and records I like. Besides EMPEROR (R.I.P.), SATYRICON, MARDUK and DIMMU BORGIR, I really appreciate IMMORTAL.
Although the band broke off as EMPEROR did, their last three superb records "At The Heart Of Winter", "Damned In Black" and their current last album "Sons Of Northern Darkness" stuck positively in my mind. Latter one is my personal favourite output of the guys Abbath (guitar & vocals), Horgh (drums) and Iscariah (bass). On "Sons...", the Nordish guys force all their qualities. The incredible thick atmosphere of "At The Heart Of Winter", the icy heaviness of "Damned In Black" and the cold grimness of their older records. Songs like the opening track "One By One" or "Demonium" are really furious. The chinking fastness, driven by recurring blastbeat assaults, unleashes a true infernal for your ears. Similar to "At The Heart Of Winter", also "Sons..." has its little but fine melodies. You need some spins to find them, but they will take you away.
The same goes for the frosty atmosphere of the "slower" hymns like "Antarctica", "Tyrants" or "Beyond The North Waves". Always when I listen to this songs, I have the imagination of dark winter nights and wuthering black nordic oceans, brrrrr. You can nearly feel this coldness through the music. Who has read additionally the lyrics of Demonaz (who left the band due to his illness, but he officially still belongs to the line-up and he wrote all lyrics for "Sons...") knows for what I'm talking about. Furthermore, IMMORTAL got the best sound in their career from Peter Tägtgren. On the contrary to much other Black Metal productions, this one is a really fat production. The guitars sound like a icy blizzard and the drums like cracking ice. This is how a true Black Metal band is meant to sound, if their aim is it to convey atmosphere and darkness. Hell yeah!
It's really too bad that IMMORTAL broke off. I think, the guys had been short before the big breakthrough. At least, they reached a greater audience with their masterpiece "Sons Of Northern Darkness", without sell out. I guess, I'm not exaggerating, when I say that "Sons..." is the best IMMORTAL album besides "At The Heart Of Winter" and one of the best records of this genre ever. I'm personally think like that. For me, "Sons..." belongs to the first row of the second Black Metal generation besides EMPEROR's "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk" and DIMMU BORGIR's "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant". Long live IMMORTAL.
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