I’ll just admit it right of the bat; Abbath is not, has never been or will never be in my top 50 of vocalists. Immortal has never really interested me, sure I’ve seen them live more than a couple of times and their music was everywhere in my student life, but I’ve never procured an Immortal album. Still I consider myself rather well versed in Immortal music.
Abbaths sound the same as he always did, like a demonic frog type of croak, which works perfectly well for his original material. It gives a certain feeling of darkness and cold, desolation and evil …. Yeah, I’ll go for desolation and evil … anyway, you can really hear his styles limitation on the priest cover Riding on the Wind, which just sounds ridiculous.
Opening track, To War!, is an instant foot tapper and I’m into this album on the first spin, right from the first second of music. The main riff is incredibly catchy, but the song sort of looses momentum when the vocals kick in. I my opinion Abbaths music is at it’s best when he plays the groovy riffs, the rock n roll stuff. Black metal has never been my favorite style of metal, I find it unimaginative and repetitive, especially the blast beat stuff. I love the energy in a live setting, but on a record, it gets tedious.
Fenrir Hunts is a really cool mix of thrash, black metal and rock n roll, only thwarted by Abbaths singing. He really shouldn’t sing, but stick to his evil croak. Eternal is a another good example of the Abbaths ability for mixing grooves with brutal riffs.
If you are able to, get the bonus tracks! The cover of Judas Priest classic Riding on the Wind is just a laugh riot, unintentionally maybe, but still. I was kind of only half listening, having music on in the background while working, I got it my head that Abbath sang; “Yes, I’m burning, burning underwear” instead of the actual lyrics “yes, I’m riding, riding on the wind”. Now I can’t help it, I just hear burning underwear every time I listen to the song.
All in all, I like this album. It’s not a classic or a must have, but it’s definitely solid release. It’s going to stay in regular rotation on my player.
Recommended tracks: To War! Fenrir Hunts
Rating: 3,5 / 5