ABBATH – Abbath

abbath.abbathLess than a year after leaving the mighty IMMORTAL, Abbath emerges with the debut of his second solo album (counting I‘s Between Two Worlds).  Naturally, Abbath picks up where 2009’s All Shall Fall left off with the type of battle hymns that has been IMMORTAL‘s bread and butter.  Additionally, he injects some death, thrash and classic metal influences.  The result is an album that is not only epic and cold but also, arguably, more brutal in parts than IMMORTAL has been for a very long time.  The hills and valleys throughout Abbath embody the characteristics of any classic metal album.  For, virtually, every slower song, there is a scorcher that follows.  The anthems, memorable choruses, and the hooks always just hit at the right points.

Joining Abbath are bassist King ov Hell (ex-GORGORTH, AUDREY HORNE, SAHG) and drummer Creature (BENIGHTED, DISAVOWED).  Both members put on integral, stellar performances.  It should be noted that King ov Hell‘s bass is loud as fuck, the way bass should be.

Opening track, “To War!,” starts off like recent SEPULTURA and KRISIUN before blazing forward with an epic storm of blasts.  The chorus on “Count the Dead” sounds like it could fit onto an early OZZY album.  The spirit of BATHORY can be proudly found throughout.

Make sure to pick up a version of the album with the bonus tracks.  Their cover of PRIEST‘s “Riding on the Wind” is so balls out.

Going solo can often lead to less than stellar results.  Thankfully, that is not the case with Abbath.  One of the best albums of the year for sure.  (Season of Mist)

DEMONAZ – March of the Norse

While IMMORTAL has been enjoying their success, songwriter Demonaz Doom Occulta has been in the background with IMMORTAL with riffs and lyrics, as well as writing his own material. Not surprisingly, March of the Norse sounds like a combination of IMMORTAL and IMMORTAL’s side project, I. The biggest and most obvious influence on this album however, is definitely BATHORY. Demonaz wrote all the music and does all the vocals on the album, but he recruits some familiar faces to perform on the album – Ice Dale (ENSLAVED, I) on guitars/bass and Armagedda (ex-IMMORTAL, I) on drums, respectively.

The acoustic guitars in “Northern Hymn” would make the late Quorthon smile, and the first few epic riffs from “All Blackened Sky” has BATHORY 101 written all over it. Armagedda’s simplistic drumming is a fitting and flattering tribute as his beats are calculated and precise behind the music. The title track and “Where Gods Once Rode” seem like tracks that were written to be played live at huge festivals like Wacken or Summer Breeze for large audiences to headbang to in unison.

A Son of the Sword” can easily be mistaken as an IMMORTAL song, as the riffing style and notes are similarly found on IMMORTAL’s Sons of Northern Darkness album. Melodic solos and catchy riffs are featured throughout the album, and are specifically showcased in “Under the Great Fires” and the amazing closer, “Legends of Fire and Ice.”

As a whole, March of the Norse is an excellent album to sing along or drink to, and Demonaz has emulated BATHORY brilliantly, both as a sign of respect, and for nostalgia purposes. Hopefully, DEMONAZ puts out more material, because March of the Norse gives newer IMMORTAL a run for their money. (Nuclear Blast Records)

I – Between Two Worlds

After waiting four years after IMMORTAL‘s last album, mainman Abbath breaks his silence with his new solo project, I. I can loosely be described as IMMORTAL sans blast beats and ice cold atmospheres, with classic heavy metal and Viking-era BATHORY throughout. It’s obvious that Abbath had a fun time creating his most diverse album yet alongside friends, King ov Hell (SAGH), Ice Dale (ENSLAVED), and Armaggeda (ex-IMMORTAL). Opening track, “The Storm I Ride,” shows Abbath singing like Lemmy Kilmeister (as he did in his MOTORHEAD cover band) over classic metal riffs. “Warriors” and “Between Two Worlds” are more in tune with latter day, mid-tempo IMMORTAL and the battle marches of BATHORY. Abbath even gives his best Quorthon imitation on these two songs. The remainder of Between Two Worlds sound like IMMORTAL b-sides mixed in with classic metal riffs. There is plenty to get into on this album and it’s sure to please IMMORTAL fans, particularly fans of their most recent albums. But we all know that Between Two Worlds serves to satisfy the cravings of fans before IMMORTAL finally returns from retirement. (Nuclear Blast Records)

AOL Music to Preview I’s Between Two Worlds This Monday, 11/13

AOL Music has teamed up with Nuclear Blast Records to debut I‘s new album, Between Two Worlds, this Monday, November 13th at 12:01am EST (9:01am PST) and will be available for streaming for seven days at this location:
http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds?defaultTab=13
The album officially hits stores Tuesday, November 14th.

I is the new band fronted by IMMORTAL vocalist/guitarist, Abbath. I‘s line-up is rounded by a host of Norwegian metal veterans including Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal of ENSALVED, ex-GORGORTH bassist Tom Visnes (T.C. King), ex-IMMORTAL drummer Armagedda, and also showcasing the lyrical penmanship of ex-IMMORTAL member Demonaz.

In related news, IMMORTAL recently announced exclusive U.S. reunion shows. Click here for more details.