Buy for
$14.96
(11 items)

Release date: 1999
Style: Black metal

Rating:

8.8 | 735 votes

Owners:

999 have it
81 want it
1 trades it


01. Withstand The Fall Of Time
02. Solarfall
03. Tragedies Blows At Horizon
04. Where Light And Dark Don't Differ
05. At The Heart Of Winter
06. Years Of Silent Sorrow

Top 20 albums of 1999: 8
Top 200 albums of all time: 101

Reviews (2)
Lyrics (6)


Line-up
Olve "Abbath" Eikemo - vocals, guitars, bass, synths
Reidar "Horgh" Horghagen - drums

Guest review by
Slayer666

Rating:
7.5
Have you ever heard of a black metal fan who doesn't like (or at least, admits to not liking) Immortal? Well, I happen to be one of those fans. I was never able to really like Immortal's mixture of thrash and black metal, which was present even on their earliest albums (although, far less than now) despite them being constantly labelled as pure black. Sure, there had always been a song or two that once entered my head, couldn't get out of there for days. But, in the overall, they are not really interesting to me. And here it is, their perhaps most highly praised release, At The Heart of Winter. I was so anxious to hear it. "Who knows, maybe it will change my opinion about them", I thought. Well, it most certainly didn't.

Not only did Immortal not get more "black" with this release, but instead, they even made it their most thrashy and technical release up to date. No filthy production, no tremolo picking, no blast beats... Yes, this is not a black metal release, this is a slightly blackened thrash album. Now, you might be thinking why the heck I am making such a big deal about the genre of the album. "If it sounds good, who the hell cares what genre it is?!", right? Perhaps so, but that is the easiest and most elaborate way for me to explain what kind of music it is. You see, I think that the very reason of Immortal being so popular is the very reason I don't like them. That strange mixture of black and thrash. Well, in this album the thrash factor is taken to a really high level. The album is mostly based around a mid tempo, with Abbath's usual vocal style somewhere on the line between shrieks and growls, and catchy, powerful guitar riffs. Or at least, that's what they should have been like.

Unfortunately, I have to say that this part of the album has been screwed. Immortal took a wrong turn somewhere, and in their attempt to make a memorable, catchy, yet heavy album, they just made one that mostly feels like a dragged, uninspired mess. I'm sorry, I know how much people like this thing, but I can't escape the feeling that the idea of how this album should have sounded like was realized in a poor way. Some songs are undeniably good. "Solarfall" is the best on the album, and if they had done the rest like they did that one, it would have been excellent. Sadly, the vast majority is just so without emotions, without feeling, so... generic. To prove my point better, let us compare my loved "Solarfall" to, say, "Years of Silent Sorrow". The beginning riff on the first of the compared is so damn catchy, so memorable, powerful, full of energy. It just makes you want to stand up, and get to jumping and head-banging. The second one is just full of riffs that will bore you. It neither has the catchiness and energy a thrash metal song should, nor the cold, evil, morbid atmosphere a black metal song should. Somewhat simplistic notes repeated over and over again that just go over your head is something unforgivable in a release by Immortal. The same goes for the vast majority of tracks, with some exceptions, of course.

This review has been hard for me. I was constantly striving to see just what is so good about this album, even from a standpoint of an Immortal fan. I failed. I might even go as far as calling it the weakest effort of the band. Even though I might not like what Immortal does, they deserve credit for successfully blending the two mentioned genres, and making a practically a new one. Not here. Were it not for Abbath's characteristic vocals, and that usual way the group tune their guitars, I would have sworn this was not their release. You might think I'm being too harsh. Well, I sure am. If this really wasn't a release of the one Immortal, the album would have been good, maybe even very good. But Immortal proved that they can and must do so much better than this.

Read more ››
published 28.09.2009 | Comments (57)

Guest review by
wormdrink414

Rating:
9.8
I'm afraid I lack the linguistic resources to clearly explain what makes the album the work of genius that it is, so I will be brief and remain vague. Luckily there is very little that needs to be written about this album. It has been around for a decade and has developed a sufficient following to articulate its greatness. Any fan of black metal, or indeed metal in general, should find this album, buy it or steal it, and worship it.

Read more ››
published 05.10.2009 | Comments (25)

Found in 49 lists
Top lists

~Starchild~ Hall Of Fame: Top 73 Of All Time  | #40
Fredd A Half-Assed List of Fredd's Favouritest Bunch of Albuns  | #136
Carl Berg 10 Essential Metal Albums  | #10
JÄY Jay's Top Metal Albums...no Particular Order 2.0  | #57
Diabolos The Best Black Metal Albums  | #25
scapeplan Scapeplan's Top 50 Albums Of All Time  | #24
Elektro-Hexer Top 62 albums of all time  | #37
Morphis My Top 50  | #19
More lists with this album (49) | Create a list! ››



Comments

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Comments: 30  
Users visited: 830  
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JÄY - 27.01.2011 at 22:30  
Rating: 10 Whatever these dudes were doing when they wrote/recorded this shit.... needs to be done again. perfect riffs and structures
Night Sight - 04.02.2011 at 14:53  
  Best album i'v ever heard in my whole life
Yojimbo - 16.02.2011 at 01:45  
Rating: 9 A timeless classic. Where Dark And Light Don't Differ is my single favorite Immortal song and probably black metal song ever.
Beastofmetal456 - 30.05.2011 at 01:32  
  This is my first Black Metal album, and believe me, it was able to transport me to the place on the cover illustration. If all Black Metal is like this, then I'm a fan already!!
Vikcen - 30.05.2011 at 02:51  
  I prefer "Sons Of Northern Darkness" before that this.

serega25 - 13.07.2011 at 22:49  
Rating: 10 It is my favorite metal album...:metal:
rekkuza- - 13.07.2011 at 23:25  
Rating: 10 Black metal does not get better than this...
BeastOfMetal456 - 15.08.2011 at 19:07  
 
Written by rekkuza- on 13.07.2011 at 23:25

Black metal does not get better than this...

Sadly....
JD - 20.08.2011 at 14:28  
Rating: 9
Written by rekkuza- on 13.07.2011 at 23:25

Black metal does not get better than this...

Really? says who?
rekkuza- - 20.08.2011 at 17:33  
Rating: 10
Written by JD on 20.08.2011 at 14:28

Written by rekkuza- on 13.07.2011 at 23:25

Black metal does not get better than this...

Really? says who?

Me. xD
Night Sight - 21.08.2011 at 22:05  
  That is everything i want from metal music
BeastOfMetal456 - 31.08.2011 at 00:16  
 
Written by JD on 20.08.2011 at 14:28

Written by rekkuza- on 13.07.2011 at 23:25

Black metal does not get better than this...

Really? says who?

That's true.
musicalkaratekid - 10.09.2011 at 01:49  
  Amazing album-This is instant proof that the phrase 'quality not quantity' suits this album pretty well\m/
serega25 - 12.11.2011 at 18:57  
Rating: 10 At last the rate is 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Metal_Buff - 18.12.2011 at 02:48  
Rating: 10 Forget whether it's Black Metal or not, I was loving this album long before I knew what that really was... This review is harsh as hell, every song except Years of Silent Sorrow qualifies as an absolute classic, any other album of which that can be said is very high in the top 200.

For the record I consider this to be Immortal's first NON black metal release (They switched from photos to cover art!) but that means nothing, if you've hated BM in the past, you'll still love this! 10, 10, 10!
algirdongas - 31.01.2012 at 16:50  
Rating: 10 If it's to cold to go to school tomorrow in Vilnius (well the prognosis says so at least) I swear I'll listen to this once more.
Lit. - 23.03.2012 at 17:04  
  Quality over Quantity is best policy.
Oaken - 29.05.2012 at 12:58  
Rating: 10
Written by Lit. on 23.03.2012 at 17:04

Quality over Quantity is best policy.

So this one is quality or quantity?
Lit. - 29.05.2012 at 14:20  
 
Written by Oaken on 29.05.2012 at 12:58

Written by Lit. on 23.03.2012 at 17:04

Quality over Quantity is best policy.

So this one is quality or quantity?

Quality?
Oaken - 29.05.2012 at 20:34  
Rating: 10
Written by Lit. on 29.05.2012 at 14:20

Written by Oaken on 29.05.2012 at 12:58

Written by Lit. on 23.03.2012 at 17:04

Quality over Quantity is best policy.

So this one is quality or quantity?

Quality?

Never mind, I understand now.
khaled-jado - 11.05.2013 at 07:01  
Rating: 10 Best fuckin album ever been made in music history ,,
bblitz - 06.11.2013 at 18:21  
Rating: 10 Immortal's masterpiece.Amen.
Bad English - 22.11.2013 at 02:36  
  In this album are my fav song from Immortal and it is ''Tragedies Blows At Horzion''
band changed from 2-3 min songs to 6-8 , here are 6 songs and all are good, and never forgots true Immortal identity and lyrics, some haters will say band sucks, denied ''true'' sound, but Immortal each album are Immortal and I never get bored from those, I also like artwork and you know its winter time, band never forgets true winter meaning
Erik M. - 18.03.2014 at 20:35  
Rating: 9 Whoa, can't believe how catchy this is. This album is awesome.
Troy Killjoy - 22.03.2014 at 02:07  
Rating: 8 I think this is probably one of the best black metal albums ever made, but that's just because it offers pretty much everything I look for in black metal.
JÄY - 22.03.2014 at 04:27  
Rating: 10
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.03.2014 at 02:07

just because it offers pretty much everything I look for in black metal.

That's a pretty good reason to like something!

My favorite black release!
Erik M. - 05.04.2014 at 22:03  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.03.2014 at 02:07

I think this is probably one of the best black metal albums ever made, but that's just because it offers pretty much everything I look for in black metal.


Yet you only gave it an 8?
Troy Killjoy - 06.04.2014 at 00:24  
Rating: 8
Written by Erik M. on 05.04.2014 at 22:03
Yet you only gave it an 8?

Slip of the mouse.
Paw!! - 15.05.2014 at 10:22  
Rating: 9
Written by Erik M. on 05.04.2014 at 22:03

Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.03.2014 at 02:07

I think this is probably one of the best black metal albums ever made, but that's just because it offers pretty much everything I look for in black metal.


Yet you only gave it an 8?

Paw!! - 15.05.2014 at 10:23  
Rating: 9 I give 9. You know all tracks so beautiful for me.

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