Immortal is dead? Long live Abbath? The question marks indicate the overall confusion as to all things Immortal. As of this time, the facts are that Abbath has left Immortal to go on his own, while co-founding member Demonaz and longtime drummer Horgh will continue on under the Immortal name.
The days of our mighty Ravendark lives aside, this brings us to Abbath’s self-titled solo debut, which has been one of the most talked about releases in the metal world since last year’s unceremonious split. The corpse painted veteran waste no time dispelling any fears of drastic change or commercialism, kicking off this dynamic yet relentless release with the ominous march of “To War!”
Through eight original tracks (and 2 bonus ones, which will be addressed in a few) Abbath, accompanied by black metal royalty king on bass (of Gorgoroth, God Seed, Sahg, I among many others) and the appropriately named Creature on drums (who has since been replaced by skins man Gabe Server of Kennedy Veil), takes us through the record with a renewed Hunger and yet controlled ferocity that makes every track “unskippable.”
The ever dynamic flow of his former band is hard to ignore, and that’s not a bad thing in the least! From more slower lurking tracks like “Ocean of Wounds” and “Root of the Mountain” to furious head bangers like “Ashes of the Damned” and “Fenrir Hunts”, there isn’t anything too foreign sounding from the Immortal catalog, yet it’s far from carbon copy material. Kudos as well to the Abbath camp for picking a more “fan favorite” Judas Priest cover (“Riding on the Wind”) as one of the bonus tracks, rather than one of their hits. If you invested in the deluxe edition (Which I highly suggest, as it comes with a pin, patch, wristband, card, and box packaging WITHOUT breaking your wallet!), you get another bonus track, in the form of Immortal classic “Nebular Ravens Winter”.
A very strong and thoroughly enjoyable release that will be hard to top by his former band mates if you ask me!! It’s nice to see a record get so much praise that actually deserves it, and I can’t recommend this release enough to fans of Immortal and black metal in general!!
5 out of 5
Standout tracks: “To War”, “Fenrir Hunts”, “Endless”
- “To War!”
- “Winter Bane”
- “Ashes of the Damned”
- “Ocean of Wounds”
- “Count the Dead”
- “Fenrir Hunts”
- “Root of the Mountain”
- “Riding on the Wind” (Bonus track; Judas Priest cover
- “Nebular Ravens Winter” (Bonus track; Immortal cover)