If the grim corpse paint looks familiar that's because it is thee Abbath Doom Occulta of Immortal who's classic sophomore record "Pure Holocaust" I wrote about two days ago. That being said he is no longer part of the band, their split sounds like a messy affair with the musicians unable to agree on who should advance with the name. Abbath earlier announced that Immortal disbanded but later his former band mates Demonaz and Horgh stated this wasn't true. So now on his own this self titled debut could easily be considered an Immortal record given its style, written by the man at the heart of the bands sound. With Immortal also announcing a new record there are hints that some of the material on this record may of been intended for the bands 9th album.
In true Immortal fashion this record rumbles away with a consistent pace and tone. A fierce tone at that and its overall pace isn't as blinding but has its moments of accelerated intensity. The drums batter away with an almost Industrial quality to them. The hi hats muddy and buried, the symbols in general require a little focus to pick out behind loud and clicking, hollow base pedals that roll like a machine. The snare thuds with a thick and punchy tone while the tom drums make a thunderous presence with their heavy tone. It plays out cold and calculated with timed flurries of expression as rapid fills and drums rolls jump into the spaces between the battering beats.
The guitar work starts of imploring more groove eccentric riffs as discordant palm mutes chug away in the opening track. The arrangements that follow are often shorter, simple chord arrangements that fit one bar and interchange frequently with variations and a sense of progression than can easily return to previous riffs. Its chemistry with the drumming is brilliant, the cold and machine like percussion paired with short riffs create a sense of repetition and momentum that the song structures counteract. Each song locks you into its moment without feeling any sense of anticipation, but just a steady unraveling of its musical trajectory.
Abbath's vocals are rather commonplace for his style, a lack of reverb left them feeling a touch thin. They came across accommodating as opposed to having a commanding presence in the music. Not bad but not spectacular. The record plays out with a linear mood and a rigidity as it sticks to its guns. All of this adds up to consistency and although there is the use of war horns in one song and light synths in the back drop of another the record rests in a steady posture, cold, grim, full of might and ready for war.
Favorite Tracks: To War, Fenrir Hunts, Eternal