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I - Between Two Worlds

Published Nov. 17 2006

=Staff's pick

The Storm I Ride*
Between Two Worlds
Days Of North Winds
Far Beyond The Quiet*
Cursed We Are*

Genre Blackened Heavy Metal
Tracks 8
Runningtime 43 Min.
Ice Dale
Label Nuclear Blast
T.C. King
Release 03 Nov. 2006
Country Norway
Similar artists Bathory, Motörhead, Immortal

I am going to create havoc and controversy through my brutally honest assertion, with no necessary apology. I never cared for Immortal. They always appeared to me as merely mediocre - a poor man's Sodom, recycling the same tedious riffs, and disgruntled dirges. I definitely respect quality Norwegian black metal art. I just never understood why Immortal were listed in the elite, far beyond the quite exceptionally talented bands, whom have received less recognition.. Thus, when I discovered that Abbath had formulated a new project simply known as "I", which was suppose to be in vein of vintage '70s rock, I decided to give the new disc a spin. Afterall, I was thoroughly impressed and throttled by Shagrath's Chrome Division.

After Olve Eikemo washed his hands and took Abbath out of Immortal, he persued a more personal life focusing on his industrial scaffolding job and being a better father to his son. He later joined a Motorhead tribute band called the Bombers and began to write new music. He enlisted the guitar talent of Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal from Enslaved and invited his former pure holocaust band mate Armagedda to play drums. Then he hired ex-Gorgoroth, current Sahg bassist Tom Visnes a.k.a. T.C. King and eventually I was born. These sons of northern darkness soon subscripted Demonaz, who agreed to write the mystical pagan lyrics. Over time, the blizzard beats were battered out as these warriors waged a battalion of battle riffs from the north, heavily inspired by Bathory, Motorhead, Venom, and Sodom.

The primary reason I could never follow Immortal, was owing to Abbath's astringent vocals. He sounds like an agonizing deckhand stricken by scurvy and inflicted with emphysema. Risibly, he reminds my of the cartoonish character Popeye the Sailor Man, needlessly yearning for something stronger than spinach to quell his surmounting hunger. Singing was never a factor in Immortal; but, now with the winter heartfelt elegies of I, he must attempt some degree of discernability. Surprisingly, he does present himself with an audible range; resembling his icon, the late, great Quorthon. In fact, as the daze of north winds blow between two worlds, this whole CD serves as a befitting monument to the viking erea of Bathory. Such songs as Warriors, Mountains, Days Of North Winds, and Cursed We Are all pay respect to the Twilight of the Gods of Blood, Fire, and Death. Abbath's hammerheart beats bold and strong for the pride of Bathory in these shadowed realms. His blood is spilled willingly over the ice of Nordland. Far Beyond The Quiet is his personal ace in the hole; itself a dedication to his majesty - Mr. Forsberg. Abbath, like Quorthon, also comes dressed to kill as the destroyer between two worlds showing his veneration for Kiss, especially on the opener - The Storm I Ride. He should have gone even more over the top and included a cover of the Kiss song I - from The Elder; although I understand there is a limited edition available with three bonus tracks.

So, has Abbath burned the rainbow bridge of fire with his ostentatious selection for a band name? The word instantly suggests the first person pronoun, and seems a bit egotistical; but, in retrospect, Abbath has chosen his namesake based on the Roman numeral "one". This appellative "I" may appear audacious, as it is also the first letter in the band Immortal, and it will make a google search on your computer absolutely superfluous; but given the magnitude and message of this project, the name works. That being stated, overall, the music is nothing new or groundbreaking; but, if you are enslaved with the iconic memory of Bathory, and embrace the dark roots of black metal, then you will celebrate this eye of insanity with Abbath and his heathenish foray... cursed we are!






6,5 chalices of 10 - Michael the MettleAngel

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