Battles in the North



by Thor USER (73 Reviews)
May 17th, 2006 | 153 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Immortal was a prominent black metal band from Bergen, Norway. The group began in 1989 as "Amputation", a death metal band. Immortal's early full-length releases were of a traditional black metal style, but their acclaimed album "At the Heart of Winter" saw the band begin to experiment with a complex fusion of black metal and German thrash. The resultant sound was a style which characterized Immortal's later works. Immortal has been influential to many modern metal artists. Its founders, Abbath and Demonaz, have attained a legendary status in the Scandinavian heavy metal scene. Out of these many bands Immortal has arguably maintained the most occult-mysticism image and way of life traditionally credited to black metal. Their peculiar music style of black melodic metal has guaranteed them a spot on the list of the best bands in the history of the genre, and has most definetely triggered the rise of their albums sales, even though most of the albums are quite difficult to obtain. (as taken from Wikipedia)

...make sure that you read the last sentence. It's pretty hard to find these guys albums in your average CD store, and this one was literally impossible for the to find. I had to end up ordering it. I've been interested in the entire black metal genre for quite some time and I wanted to start getting some lesser known albums because I had already heard most of the essential releases by then. If you've ever heard of this band, you've probably heard of these two albums: Pure Holocaust and Sons of Northern Darkness. I have yet to hear the first one mentioned but I rather liked their final album. But what else does the band have to offer? Well this album was the next thing I decided to purchase. It came right after a monumental release in black metal, so the band certainly had a lot to live up to. We've seen this when many bands will triumph (like Slayer with South of Heaven) and we've also seen many bands fall flat on their faces (like Korn with Life is Peachy). Anyways, prepare for a rather cold and harsh experience. Enter...

Immortal's Battles in the North

Immortal consists of:
Abbath: Vocals, Drums, Bass
Demonaz: Guitars

What was good about the album:
-- For fans of melodic black metal, you'll probably be into this band. Immortal doesn't show any sign of changing from their original sounds. Every song is loaded with almost thrashy guitar riffs with a very distinct production. Demonaz's guitar parts are filled with melody and are something that will end up getting stuck in your head at one point or another.

-- The band has a vast amount of riffs and guitar parts throughout. There are plenty of changes in the songs so you probably won't find yourself thinking that the song is the same thing, which is something that certain black metal bands like Darkthrone would do.

-- For fans of speed metal and thrash, you'd probably be intrigued by this album. Just about the entire time this album is simply beating you into submission with its blast beats and constant double bass drum abuse. Metal drummers out there wouldn't find anything really innovative, but it's still solid nonetheless. Abbath does a very solid job and gets a thumbs up from me.

-- The album's atmosphere and production are great for the black metal genre. The vocals are extremely harsh, grating, and filled with hate. You can't ask for more out of a black metal vocalist. The guitars seem almost distant from the recording and take a back seat in the band. They're still there, but the vocals and drums are just a lot louder. Whether you may like this or not, it's still there. As far as atmosphere goes, I can only think of one word to describe Immortal: cold. You've probably heard this if you've ever read or heard anything about the band, but it's true. Their sound takes you right to the icy winter lands of Norway.

What was bad about the album:
-- There is little to no variation in the band's style. There will be some very short clean guitar parts, but other than that it's just straightforward black metal for the entirety of the album's 35 minutes. This is always something I have a problem with in bands because I'm not a big fan of hearing the same song ten times in a row.

-- For those of you who are not used to black metal and the production style that it is known to use, you won't feel comfortable listening to this. It's not exactly welcoming for a new fan and only experienced black metal listeners would probably find this enjoyable. In short, this album isn't for everyone.

-- The album is fairly short. By the end of the band's lifetime they were making albums that were 50 minutes in length and had epic songs, so why couldn't they have done that now? I'm a big fan of giant black metal songs and this album just seems to avoid all of that. Immortal seems to go for a more "punk feel" on this album, seeing as how their longest song only lasts for an average length of 4:33.

-- This album may be too heavy for some listeners.

Through the Halls of Eternity
Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms
Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)

-- Plenty of interesting guitar riffs
-- The guitars actually have melody
-- Solid drums, which are often very fast
-- Good black metal vocals

-- Little to no variation throughout
-- Album is rather short
-- People may not be used to the production

Final Rating: 2.5/5 - An average album. This album is only really for big Immortal and black metal fans. You'd probably be better off looking for something else.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 17th 2006


YUSS, the format!

Wtf, the comment cut off, anyway, I haven't heard this band yet but I've seen them on various black metal piss-takesThis Message Edited On 05.17.06

May 17th 2006


I never could get into Immortal... but good review, nonetheless.

May 17th 2006


A 2.5? I've never been so disappointed in Thor in my life. This is indeed a sad day in sputnik's metal reviewing world, as we mourn the death os one of our own.

May 17th 2006


This is a gay review.

"It might be too heavy for some listeners." wow.

May 17th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

I like this album okay. It's better then average though. Good review.

May 17th 2006


[quote=Inpopagation]This is a gay review.[/quote] Well at least he doesn't look like a Kiss cover band. Poor Immortal.

May 17th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This album's great, but Sons Of Northern Darkness pwns it.

May 17th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

ShadowsFallen, I'm not saying that I don't like Immortal at all. This album just struck me as nothing special, except for the three highlights which I thought were pretty strong songs.

And to Inpropagation, I was simply stating that most people wouldn't be used to this type of album. I'm not saying that I didn't like it's heaviness. Chill out, dude.

May 17th 2006


Sons Of Northern Darkness and At The Heart Of Winter were classic albums, but I haven't heard anything else by this band. Gotta love the outfits though...

May 17th 2006


[QUOTE=Thor]And to Inpropagation, I was simply stating that most people wouldn't be used to this type of album. I'm not saying that I didn't like it's heaviness. Chill out, dude.[/QUOTE]

You put that under "what was bad about the album".
This Message Edited On 05.17.06

May 17th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

/comic relief

Blashyrkh is a fictional kingdom heavily featured in the lyrics of black metal band Immortal. According to the band's singer and bassist Abbath, this frozen kingdom was created by the hatred of both himself and Demonaz. It is ruled by a giant raven god called the "Mighty Ravendark." On the album Battles in the North, in the eponymous song, he is referred to as "the Oath of Frost, who sits on the elder raventhrone," and as "the rightful king of the highest halls."

Blashyrkh is eternally covered with frost, snow and winter, as can be learned from the album "at the heart of winter"

I'm Charming
May 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This is above 2.5. Love all their albums. I'm a big fan

May 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

This is an excellent album, there's no real cons about it, more like preferences i.e. the production. Btw...

"-- The band has a vast amount of riffs and guitar parts throughout. There are plenty of changes in the songs so you probably won't find yourself thinking that the song is the same thing, which is something that certain black metal bands like Darkthrone would do. "



"-- Little to no variation throughout"


May 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

When I meant little variation, I meant in terms of style. They go for the "super fast and heavy" theme throughout, leaving little time for anythigng else to come into play.

I don't like it when bands make all of their songs go at the same speed and do the same thing.

I had no idea I was going to be attacked by so many people. This Message Edited On 05.17.06

May 18th 2006


Sorry if you thought I was attaking you, I was just kidding around. I've never even heard this album, but I hear it's pretty good, like all Immortal.

September 22nd 2006


Immortal is overrated... ill just stick with Emperor and Enslaved

October 9th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I went ahead and bought this cause it was the only Immortal cd i can find in my town and i enjoy it, nothing too fancy just good solid black metal. I still want to hear Sons of Northern Darkness though.

October 9th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Sons of Northern Darkness kicks the crap out of this album.

August 30th 2007


Drumming is boring, but this album isn't bad.

October 14th 2007


Dispose of the unbelievable stupid argument that this album isn't for everyone just because it's black metal and you've got a decent review.

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