Rating:
8.7
Immortal - Battles In The North
1995


01. Battles In The North
02. Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms
03. Descent Into Eminent Silence
04. Throned By Blackstorms
05. Moonrise Fields Of Sorrow
06. Cursed Realms Of The Winterdemons
07. At The Stormy Gates Of Mist
08. Through The Halls Of Eternity
09. Circling Above In Time Before Time
10. Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)


In 1993, the legendary band called Immortal released what is considered to be their sophomore work, Pure Holocaust. Two years later, they decided to go a little harsher, to produce a colder album: something on which we can bestow the term "grim and frostbitten". And in my books, these mighty Norsemen succeeded. Now after Erik "Grim" left the band, Abbath took the throne behind the drums (he still handled the bass, too), while Demonaz took over the duties of delivering some mighty guitar riffs, something Immortal is synonymous with.

The songwriting on this album is awesome. Demonaz slams us with riff after riff, each more atmospheric and catchy than the one preceding it. Those riffs are harsh, harsher than on Pure Holocaust, but still, they retain the melodic edge, and they go well with Abbath's drumming, which is just amazing and sounds very natural. And not only does Abbath succeed in creating some of the best blast-beats ever, but he also does great work with the slow parts. Great black metal drumming. The bass is buried deep beneath the other instruments, but since this is black metal, there isn't a big problem. Concerning the vocals, Abbath is as strong and mighty as ever, and in addition to handling the drums and bass, this king of northern darkness's vocals are more "croaky" than on Pure Holocaust, which is a good thing actually, and gives this album a slab of originality.

Overall, the instruments (and vocals) intertwine well with each other, creating an atmosphere not a lot of black metal artists have: an atmosphere of a devastating snow storm in the mountains of Norway. The mix is quite strange, with the drums and vocals getting a higher volume than the guitars, and although this adds to the stormy atmosphere, I still think this album could have used some better production, even by black metal standards. Not Damned In Black good production, but if they produced this album like, let's say, At The Heart Of Winter, it would have been loads better.

Battles In The North is a great album, not short of amazing tracks. The 10 songs are all amazing, but the ones that stand out are the title track, "Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms", which has an oriental Demonaz solo that reminds us of Euronymous's solo on "Freezing Moon", "Cursed Realms Of The Winterdemons", "Cirlcling Above In Time Before Time" and "Blashyrkh". The others are all good; the only track that falls behind the others is "At The Stormy Gates Of Mist".

Battles In The North is an awesome record from the legendary Norse band called Immortal; it's an essential tr00 black metal record (better than Pure Holocaust IMO). If you're a fan of black metal, you should go ahead and grab this right now, for it will surely throw you in the midst of a tempest and destroy your mind with awesome riffs and brutal drumming. All hail Immortal, the mighty sons of northern darkness!!!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 7


Band profile: Immortal
Album: Battles In The North


 


written by BeastOfMetal456 | 18.09.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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BeastOfMetal456 - 18.09.2011 at 01:31  
Good job, Beast!! Keep it up!!
Lokaeda - 18.09.2011 at 01:35  
"Now after Erik "Grim" left the band" nice way of defining his act

I disagree with some of your points (especially regarding the drums) though, yet I like this album not better than Pure Holocaust, but definitely better than Blizzard Beasts
BeastOfMetal456 - 18.09.2011 at 01:39  
Written by Lokaeda on 18.09.2011 at 01:35

"Now after Erik "Grim" left the band" nice way of defining his act

I disagree with some of your points (especially regarding the drums) though, yet I like this album not better than Pure Holocaust, but definitely better than Blizzard Beasts

The drumming sounds a little wrong at first, but it's just friggin' awesome. Like Baroness!
@gent_-_orange - 18.09.2011 at 01:40  
Great review but you made one mistake, Contrary to popular belief Eric NEVER played drums on an Immortal studio album, Even though he is credited on Pure Holocaust it was Abbath who played drums their.

Although I disagree when you say it should have better production, Because I think it would kill the atmosphere (IMO of course)

Regardless you have done this great album justice.
BeastOfMetal456 - 18.09.2011 at 01:43  
Written by @gent_-_orange on 18.09.2011 at 01:40

Great review but you made one mistake, Contrary to popular belief Eric NEVER played drums on an Immortal studio album, Even though he is credited on Pure Holocaust it was Abbath who played drums their.

Although I disagree when you say it should have better production, Because I think it would kill the atmosphere (IMO of course)

Regardless you have done this great album justice.

I know that, he just got on the album cover. But he was drummer for a while, wasn't he?
@gent_-_orange - 18.09.2011 at 01:48  
Written by Guest on 18.09.2011 at 01:43

Written by @gent_-_orange on 18.09.2011 at 01:40

Great review but you made one mistake, Contrary to popular belief Eric NEVER played drums on an Immortal studio album, Even though he is credited on Pure Holocaust it was Abbath who played drums their.

Although I disagree when you say it should have better production, Because I think it would kill the atmosphere (IMO of course)

Regardless you have done this great album justice.

I know that, he just got on the album cover. But he was drummer for a while, wasn't he?


Yeah for live gigs, It was just the way you worded it
"Now after Erik "Grim" left the band, Abbath took the throne behind the drums" It made me think you were saying that he played drums on the previous record.

Also the album cover still sucks hard.
Susan - 18.09.2011 at 01:51  
Written by Guest on 18.09.2011 at 01:31

Good job, Beast!! Keep it up!!


Narcissist much?
Iron Nostarion - 18.09.2011 at 14:12  
Well written review there, Beast. I agree with most of the points.

And by the way, I'm very surprised that you gave this 8.7, since you originally loathed it whenever I brought it up on shoutbox. xD But it's awesome to see that you opened your mind enough.
Aetherius - 18.09.2011 at 14:40  
Good review, great album!
Milena - 19.09.2011 at 11:06  
Nice job kiddo, keep it up
Daniell - 19.09.2011 at 19:28  
I must say that the review itself is much better than this seminal, but totally overrated, chaotic assembly of clumsy songs with sloppy production and musicianship. Plus extremely cheesy, utterly ridiculous song titles showing total contempt towards the grammar of English and mocking the listener's taste. How wonderful that such a hopeless band later grew up to release such fantastic albums as "At the Heart of Winter", even though they never learned English properly
M C Vice - 20.09.2011 at 09:59  
Written by Daniell on 19.09.2011 at 19:28

I must say that the review itself is much better than this seminal, but totally overrated, chaotic assembly of clumsy songs with sloppy production and musicianship. Plus extremely cheesy, utterly ridiculous song titles showing total contempt towards the grammar of English and mocking the listener's taste. How wonderful that such a hopeless band later grew up to release such fantastic albums as "At the Heart of Winter", even though they never learned English properly

Hey, half the people on this site don't use english properly. I don't and I've been speaking it all me life!
I havn't heard all the album, just Blashrykh and Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms, both of which I really like. Are they the exeptions to the rest of the album (like Mountains of Might on Blizzard beasts) or do you think they're crap songs?
Daniell - 20.09.2011 at 10:40  
Written by M C Vice on 20.09.2011 at 09:59

Written by Daniell on 19.09.2011 at 19:28

I must say that the review itself is much better than this seminal, but totally overrated, chaotic assembly of clumsy songs with sloppy production and musicianship. Plus extremely cheesy, utterly ridiculous song titles showing total contempt towards the grammar of English and mocking the listener's taste. How wonderful that such a hopeless band later grew up to release such fantastic albums as "At the Heart of Winter", even though they never learned English properly

Hey, half the people on this site don't use english properly. I don't and I've been speaking it all me life!
I havn't heard all the album, just Blashrykh and Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms, both of which I really like. Are they the exeptions to the rest of the album (like Mountains of Might on Blizzard beasts) or do you think they're crap songs?


If a band wants to present their work to the general public, they should make sure that the work has no mistakes. How hard is it to ask someone to check lyrics and titles for grammar? I'm not a well-known band, but even I ask a native speaker of English to proof-read my reviews before I publish them.

As for "Battles in the North", all the songs are more or less equal in quality, so if you liked 2 songs, there's a big chance you will love the whole album.
M C Vice - 20.09.2011 at 14:34  
Written by Daniell on 20.09.2011 at 10:40

Written by M C Vice on 20.09.2011 at 09:59

Written by Daniell on 19.09.2011 at 19:28

I must say that the review itself is much better than this seminal, but totally overrated, chaotic assembly of clumsy songs with sloppy production and musicianship. Plus extremely cheesy, utterly ridiculous song titles showing total contempt towards the grammar of English and mocking the listener's taste. How wonderful that such a hopeless band later grew up to release such fantastic albums as "At the Heart of Winter", even though they never learned English properly

Hey, half the people on this site don't use english properly. I don't and I've been speaking it all me life!
I havn't heard all the album, just Blashrykh and Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms, both of which I really like. Are they the exeptions to the rest of the album (like Mountains of Might on Blizzard beasts) or do you think they're crap songs?


If a band wants to present their work to the general public, they should make sure that the work has no mistakes. How hard is it to ask someone to check lyrics and titles for grammar? I'm not a well-known band, but even I ask a native speaker of English to proof-read my reviews before I publish them.

As for "Battles in the North", all the songs are more or less equal in quality, so if you liked 2 songs, there's a big chance you will love the whole album.

Come on, half the fun with Immortal is their ridiculous and incoherent lyrics. Perhaps they do it on perpose?
BeastOfMetal456 - 22.09.2011 at 15:45  
Written by Susan on 18.09.2011 at 01:51

Written by Guest on 18.09.2011 at 01:31

Good job, Beast!! Keep it up!!


Narcissist much?

Actually, that's my humblest!
BeastOfMetal456 - 22.09.2011 at 15:47  
Written by Iron Nostarion on 18.09.2011 at 14:12

Well written review there, Beast. I agree with most of the points.

And by the way, I'm very surprised that you gave this 8.7, since you originally loathed it whenever I brought it up on shoutbox. xD But it's awesome to see that you opened your mind enough.

I'm open minded in many things, of course excluding the satanism subject.

Written by Milena on 19.09.2011 at 11:06

Nice job kiddo, keep it up

Kiddo??
I'm a tr00 kvlt guitarist. Don't call me kiddo or beasty.
BeastOfMetal456 - 22.09.2011 at 15:52  
Written by Daniell on 19.09.2011 at 19:28

I must say that the review itself is much better than this seminal, but totally overrated, chaotic assembly of clumsy songs with sloppy production and musicianship. Plus extremely cheesy, utterly ridiculous song titles showing total contempt towards the grammar of English and mocking the listener's taste. How wonderful that such a hopeless band later grew up to release such fantastic albums as "At the Heart of Winter", even though they never learned English properly

First, thanks a lot. I thought like you upon first contact with this album, but after quite several listens, everything changed. Besides could you point out to me some of the grammar mistakes?
Written by M C Vice on 20.09.2011 at 09:59

Hey, half the people on this site don't use english properly. I don't and I've been speaking it all me life!
I havn't heard all the album, just Blashrykh and Grim And Frostbitten Kingdoms, both of which I really like. Are they the exeptions to the rest of the album (like Mountains of Might on Blizzard beasts) or do you think they're crap songs?

No, not at all. In fact, there are some tracks better than Grim. The best tracks are mentioned in the review.

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