IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods

After initially listening to the first couple seconds of IMMORTAL‘s comeback album, Northern Chaos Gods, you realize that you owe the band a huge apology for doubting them.  A raging storm of ice and snow blast forth in a way that only Bergen, Norway’s finest can produce.

Despite the departure of original vocalist and bassist/guitarist, Abbath, and him allegedly taking most of what was supposed to be the band’s next studio album for his solo album, IMMORTAL is intact and true to their legacy.  Demonaz takes on vocal duties in masterful fashion and, most importantly, returns to his rightful place recording guitars for the band. Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) pulls double duty as producer and session bassist.

While it is accurate to say that IMMORTAL finds much inspiration in their colder, faster sound from around the mid-90’s, Northern Chaos Gods is not a total throwback or a regression.  The mastery and epic sound that the band honed so well in the 2000’s is still intact as evidenced by songs like “Gates to Blashyrkh” and “Mighty Ravendark.” The one characteristic that is not as strong as the hooks that were ever so present in their last couple of albums.  However, Northern Chaos Gods is still a satisfying and enjoyable album.

With Northern Chaos Gods, IMMORTAL continue to build on their legacy and prove that break ups, line up changes, lawsuits, and severe injuries cannot stop one of the greatest bands on the planet.  (Nuclear Blast Records)

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)

IMMORTAL Issue First Public Statement Since Split with Abbath

After the IMMORTAL trademark case was closed by “Patentstyret” (Norway’s Patent Office) in November 2015, Demonaz and Horgh can finally share their side of the story for the first time:

“The conflict was not about anyone leaving the band as Abbath claimed. It was all about his personal problems. He had cancelled rehearsals and ruined the band’s progress for a very long time. We were forced to confront him about it.

“Abbath recently told Australian website (TheMusic.com.au) that we wanted things solely on our own timetable and that we claimed he needed rehab.

“The band had to reschedule rehearsals all the time because of him. Even then, he did not show up. He told the band, friends, and family that he needed to go to rehab again. He had got help from a clinic before. We offered to wait for him to recover this time also. Sadly, he changed his decision.

“Instead of trying to solve his problems, he went behind our back and secretly applied for a trademark ownership of the bands logo and name. It was hard to believe that his problems had led him to such a point.

“When his attempt to get the rights was discovered by the band, he all of a sudden went solo. His accusations against the band in media changed from day to day. The fans started to question his version and wanted us to speak about what really happened. Unfortunately, we had to wait until the case was all closed, to make a statement.

“His trademark application was denied and the case closed by Patentstyret in November, 2015. One of the reasons was because he had only contributed as a co-writer of music in IMMORTAL. Nor did he contribute any lyrics or titles to the bands albums. The fact is that the music has always been a result from the band as a unit.”

IMMORTAL will record the long awaited new album in 2016, which will be released byNuclear Blast Records.

“We are well prepared and looking forward to present the new material to the fans. We did not want to rush things, but take the time to deliver another high quality IMMORTAL album. More news is coming soon.”

IMMORTAL: Band Put on Ice (Again); Abbath Announces Solo Band

IMMORTAL vocalist/guitarist Abbath has announced that IMMORTAL will once again go on hiatus because the band members could not come to an agreement regarding their dispute over ownership of the band’s name.  Abbath will move forward with a solo band with new music, and performances, which will include IMMORTAL songs.

Check out the official statement here.

It should be cool to hear what Abbath as well as the other members of IMMORTAL cook up in terms of new music.

Video of the Day: IMMORTAL’s Abbath Tears It Up with MOTORHEAD Tribute Band

Big time IMMORTAL nerds are aware that vocalist/guitarist Abbath also has a side project called BOMBERS.  The band is a great tribute to classic MOTORHEAD with Abbath doing the best impersonation of Lemmy possible.  Pretty awesome that BOMBERS has been around since ’96 and is still playing shows.

Check out this clip from a show they did in 2011.  They run through “No Class,” “Killed by Death,” “Jailbait,” and “I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care)“:

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)

ABSU to Join IMMORTAL on February 2011 American Performances

Texas-based, mythological occult metal band, ABSU will join IMMORTAL on their return to the US for six shows early next year.

Drummer/vocalist Proscriptor notes, “We feel extremely privileged to have been invited to participate on IMMORTAL’s All Shall Fall US tour in February 2011. Even though it is only a six-date tour, it’s a colossal one for ABSU to be performing with our former label mates of many years. We had the opportunity to share the stage with IMMORTAL over eight years ago and this will be a very good experience for us.”

These upcoming performances will mark the first time that ABSU will appear live as a trio. Proscriptor comments, “I am here to announce that guitarist Aethyris McKay has decided to quit ABSU and has recently relocated to Oslo , Norway to join PANTHEON I. Working with Aethyris for the past three years has been a prosperous experience and I have the utmost respect for him as my comrade and a superlative musician. He assisted me in resurrecting the band from its hiatus stage and I truly thank him for helping me recast the spell of “mythological occult metal.”

After completion of the tour dates, ABSU will enter the studio to begin recording their new album, titled Abzu. The recording will be the second of a three-part series. Proscriptor reveals, “this recording will feature our signature sound in maniacal fashion. Now, we’re appending dirtier elements of psychedelia and fusion characteristics. Lyrically, it will descend deeper into Enki’s lower world as well the Enochian Magic(k) System. I can tell you this album will definitely not be a “natural progression” from previous releases, but a feat of metaphysical conquest and murkiness.”

Tour dates can be found at here.