Review Summary: Norwegian super group’s “black ‘n’ roll” album is far removed from the members’ original bands
Abbath - vocals, guitar
Ice Dale - guitar
King ov Hell - bass
Armaggeda - drums
Demonaz - lyrics
When Immortal split in 2003 and the members decided to go their separate ways, Abbath’s creative outlet was singing in a Motorhead tribute band. Two years later, he got together with former Immortal members as well as members of Gorgoroth and Enslaved to create a band simply called “I.” With all that pedigree, this should be the ultimate black metal band right? Well not quite, it’s more of a straightforward metal album in the vein of Motorhead, “black ‘n’ roll” if you will closer to “Sons of Northern Darkness”
“Between Two Worlds”
starts with the thrashy “The Storm I Ride,” one of the fastest tracks on the album with exceptional guitar harmonies it is the most memorable track on the album. After the opening track, I settles in to a more mid-paced groove for the most part with great tracks like “Battalions” and “Mountains” that are slower, Motorhead type songs with vocals to match; Abbath sounding like a cross between Lemmy and Popeye! Occasionally veering into Viking-metal lyrics, “Between Two Worlds”
also pays tribute to the late Quorthon of Bathory with “Far Beyond the Quiet.”
The musicianship as would be expected, is top-notch: Armaggeda’s drumming is simple yet powerful and really shines on faster tracks like “Cursed We Are” in which he flashes some rare double-bass action, very simple throughout but fit’s the music perfectly. The guitarwork is exceptional throughout with Abbath and Ice Dale laying down monolithic, harmonic riffs that truly make this album memorable. Originally released with only eight tracks, a special edition features the excellent “Shadowed Realms” that truly make this album complete. Although some of the songs are a bit monotonous and Abbath’s voice is a bit grating the further you get into the album it is an enjoyable listen nevertheless.
The announcement of Immortal’s reunion BEFORE this album was released however stole much of its thunder and I was a bit forgotten in the anticipation of Immortal’s reunion. The albums title can be construed as a band that’s between two world, black metal and just heavy rock or metal. Even though “Between Two Worlds”
might not be what fans of Immortal, Gorgoroth and Enslaved were expecting, they won’t be disappointed and I’s travels into “black ‘n’ roll” are much more successful than a band like Satyricon who also transitioned from pure black metal.
The Storm I Ride
Cursed We Are