Metal Storm logo
Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter



9 | 1044 votes |
Release date: 22 February 1999
Style: Black metal

Owners:

1289 have it
107 want it
2 trade 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: 3
Top 200 albums of all time: 36

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

Additional info
Recorded in the "Abyss" studios, Sweden during november 1998.

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 (62)

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 (27)

Found in 95 lists
Top lists



Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 56   Visited by: 1680 users
09.01.2015 - 02:56
Joe Zombie

I find most black metal to be a total bore, but this album is superb. This must be, in my opinion, the greatest black metal album of all time. The production achieves a great balance of rawness and clarity.
Loading...
26.07.2015 - 22:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Joe Zombie on 09.01.2015 at 02:56

I find most black metal to be a total bore, but this album is superb. This must be, in my opinion, the greatest black metal album of all time. The production achieves a great balance of rawness and clarity.


this is what can I say about this band.... shame Abboth pick up idiots and form new band ... it will be satanistic not about winter
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
27.10.2015 - 05:55
Rating: 10
jadis40

A cold, windblown, and snow covered Norwegian forest with the mountains in the background and the sun setting in the west over one of the fjords is what I conjure up in my mind when I listen to this masterpiece.

That intro to the title track...absolutely love it.

Grim and frostbitten indeed.
Loading...
27.10.2015 - 11:40
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by jadis40 on 27.10.2015 at 05:55

A cold, windblown, and snow covered Norwegian forest with the mountains in the background and the sun setting in the west over one of the fjords is what I conjure up in my mind when I listen to this masterpiece.

That intro to the title track...absolutely love it.

Grim and frostbitten indeed.


this is how I feel to
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
10.08.2017 - 12:57
Rating: 7
Paw!!

Am I the only one who think Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is their best album?
Loading...
10.04.2018 - 18:53
Rating: 8
musicalkaratekid

Provides atmosphere and ambitious songwriting without ommitting what made "Pure Holocaust" so great. Basically this is the best of both worlds for Immortal, the fusion of harsh, thrashy menace and melancholic passages which means that this is a 46-minute record which doesn't grow weary.
Loading...
14.08.2018 - 04:41
VIG
Account deleted
Why is this Immortal's only great album? Too bad they never made something this good ever again.
Loading...
20.10.2018 - 22:50
Rating: 9
Oh yes.!
Loading...
04.11.2018 - 23:28
Rating: 10
Metren
Chameleon
Written by Guest on 14.08.2018 at 04:41

Why is this Immortal's only great album? Too bad they never made something this good ever again.


I like almost all of Immortal's stuff, but it is genuinely amazing how head and shoulders above this album is when compared to anything that preceded or followed it. I guess sometimes inspiration and the willingness to work one's ass off simply coincide, resulting in truly magical music.
----
I am not nor have I ever been a musician or a member of a one-man band, especially a band that has a name that starts with "D".
Loading...
03.01.2019 - 09:59
Rating: 9
Maasai Mara

This is the meaning of atmosphere. sweet catchy riffs, the effects on the intro of at the heart of winter are grim and cold as fuck. Withstand the fall of time is a damn classic. Anyone who rates this less than 9 is a gay cuck.
----
You are not metal enough until you visit Kenya. The cradle of mankind, where man learnt first to work with stones and first enjoyed the sounds produced by banging stones which later influenced metal in all its sounds and genres.
Loading...
08.11.2019 - 21:12
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Maasai Mara on 03.01.2019 at 09:59

This is the meaning of atmosphere. sweet catchy riffs, the effects on the intro of at the heart of winter are grim and cold as fuck. Withstand the fall of time is a damn classic. Anyone who rates this less than 9 is a gay cuck.


I am amazed how this band can creates it since they are one of firts bands, they usually went ''raw'' way
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
07.04.2020 - 17:39
Rating: 8
nonZero

Does the artwork of this album remind anyone else of Castle Karstaag from Morrowind?
----
My Favourite Albums (ordered & rated)
Top 200 Overlooked Albums (with genres)
So I Heard You Like Wintersun... (Time II find new bands)
Loading...
07.04.2020 - 20:50
nikarg
Mod
Written by nonZero on 07.04.2020 at 17:39

Does the artwork of this album remind anyone else of Castle Karstaag from Morrowind?

Yes, it does. Apparently the guy who made it was arrested last week for allegedly killing and disemboweling his 80-year-old father. Metal af.
Loading...
08.04.2020 - 12:27
Rating: 8
nonZero

Written by nikarg on 07.04.2020 at 20:50

Written by nonZero on 07.04.2020 at 17:39

Does the artwork of this album remind anyone else of Castle Karstaag from Morrowind?

Yes, it does. Apparently the guy who made it was arrested last week for allegedly killing and disemboweling his 80-year-old father. Metal af.

Wow. Daddy issues much?
----
My Favourite Albums (ordered & rated)
Top 200 Overlooked Albums (with genres)
So I Heard You Like Wintersun... (Time II find new bands)
Loading...
05.09.2020 - 23:19
Rating: 10
Răzvan

I can't quite say if this my favourite BM album or not, but it's definitely up there. Early Immortal wasn't bad by any means, even if the production is a bit too rough for my linking especially on the first two albums. But At the Heart of Winter... it's truly amazing how far above what came before this album stands.
----
My subjectivity is better than yours.
Loading...
05.09.2020 - 23:41
Rating: 10
Redel

Written by Răzvan on 05.09.2020 at 23:19

I can't quite say if this my favourite BM album or not, but it's definitely up there. Early Immortal wasn't bad by any means, even if the production is a bit too rough for my linking especially on the first two albums. But At the Heart of Winter... it's truly amazing how far above what came before this album stands.

Indeed.
I would have a hard time saying what I am missing here.
Loading...
19.12.2020 - 17:44
Rating: 5
doez
Hallucigenia
I don't know what it is but I can't seem to get into this record, I've been trying for a good 2 years already but there's just something off about it and I can't pinpoint what it is
Loading...
21.01.2021 - 16:26
Rating: 8
nonZero

Written by doez on 19.12.2020 at 17:44

I don't know what it is but I can't seem to get into this record, I've been trying for a good 2 years already but there's just something off about it and I can't pinpoint what it is

I know what you mean, I think it's just a bit monotonous and one-dimensional to be considered a great album. I much prefer the likes of bands like Emperor who vary their cold wall of sound with symphonic instruments and some clean vocals.
----
My Favourite Albums (ordered & rated)
Top 200 Overlooked Albums (with genres)
So I Heard You Like Wintersun... (Time II find new bands)
Loading...
21.01.2021 - 21:31
Rating: 5
doez
Hallucigenia
Written by nonZero on 21.01.2021 at 16:26

I know what you mean, I think it's just a bit monotonous and one-dimensional to be considered a great album. I much prefer the likes of bands like Emperor who vary their cold wall of sound with symphonic instruments and some clean vocals.

Might be that, I honestly couldn't tell you, I just heavily dislike it
Loading...
05.03.2021 - 14:57
Rating: 10
BennyMetGer

The is one of the best things ive ever heard,
Loading...
07.05.2021 - 07:01
Rating: 10
AndyMetalFreak
Mr Nice Guy
I remember the first time I listened to this, it was the second black metal album I bought after De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. I originally bought it because I loved the album cover, and had no idea what it would sound like, only from hearing what others had said.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I was completely blown away right from the start by the guitar tone, which was the best I had ever heard, and the riffs were amazing throughout, the vocals are harsh but understandable for a new listener, and lyrics also match the wintery theme on the cover, making it highly enjoyable for a new listener in the genre.

I still rate this as one of my favourite black metal album's, even though there seems to be slight Death metal influences here, it's certainly Immortals best work, they have always been a bit of a hit and miss band Imo.
Loading...
04.08.2021 - 19:13
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by Răzvan on 05.09.2020 at 23:19

I can't quite say if this my favourite BM album or not, but it's definitely up there.

My favorite BM albums are At the Heart of Winter and Storm of the Light's Bane
----
My Favorite Metal Albums of All Time: http://www.metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6697
200+ Greatest Metal Songs (max. 2 songs per album): http://metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6721
Loading...
23.08.2021 - 03:51
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Every song, every riff is perfect! A bitter cold masterpiece!
Also, the singer sounds like how an ice dragon would sound like
----
My Favorite Metal Albums of All Time: http://www.metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6697
200+ Greatest Metal Songs (max. 2 songs per album): http://metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6721
Loading...
13.09.2021 - 01:20
Rating: 10
EccePrimordium

I'm VERY new to black metal (got pulled down the Mayhem drama rabbit hole recently), but this is the best I've heard that this genre has to offer so far. Ill be replaying this for a loooong time.
Loading...
13.09.2021 - 06:39
Rating: 10
F3ynman2000

Written by EccePrimordium on 13.09.2021 at 01:20

I'm VERY new to black metal (got pulled down the Mayhem drama rabbit hole recently), but this is the best I've heard that this genre has to offer so far. Ill be replaying this for a loooong time.

Make sure to check out Dissection's Storm of the Light's Bane and The Somberlain, if you haven't already!
----
My Favorite Metal Albums of All Time: http://www.metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6697
200+ Greatest Metal Songs (max. 2 songs per album): http://metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=6721
Loading...
14.11.2021 - 11:05
Rating: 5
doez
Hallucigenia
Still don't like it sadly
Loading...

Hits total: 34398 | This month: 143