Immortal (band)

Last updated
Immortal
Immortal live @ Hole in the Sky.jpg
Immortal (Abbath, left, and Apollyon) performing at Hole in the Sky festival in 2011.
Background information
Origin Bergen, Norway
Genres Black metal
Years active
  • 1991–2003
  • 2006–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website immortalofficial.com
Members
Past members

Immortal is a black metal band from Bergen, Norway, founded in 1991 by frontman and guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta (Olve Eikemo) and guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta (Harald Nævdal). The pair worked with various drummers (including Grim, Armagedda and Hellhammer), [1] and were later joined by current drummer Horgh (Reidar Horghagen) in 1996.

Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Guitarist person who plays the guitar

A guitarist is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar by singing or playing the harmonica.

Contents

In March 2015, long-serving member Abbath announced his departure from the group following a dispute with the other members of the band, and he went on to form a new band under his name called Abbath. [2] It was initially reported that following Abbath's departure, the band would split up. However, In August 2015, Demonaz and Horgh said that the band would continue without Abbath. [3] [4] Demonaz would return to playing guitar with the band for the first time since 1997, and would do vocals as well. Northern Chaos Gods was officially released on July 6, 2018 under Nuclear Blast Records.

Abbath (band) Norwegian band

Abbath is a black metal band formed in 2015 by former Immortal guitarist and vocalist Abbath Doom Occulta after departing from Immortal earlier in 2015. The band released their first album, Abbath, on January 22, 2016, and played live for the first time at Tuska Open Air 2015.

<i>Northern Chaos Gods</i> 2018 studio album by Immortal

Northern Chaos Gods is the ninth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. The album was released on 6 July 2018. This is the first album after the departure of Abbath from the band and their first studio album in almost nine years since All Shall Fall (2009), marking the longest gap between two studio albums by Immortal. It is also the first Immortal album to feature Demonaz on vocals and the first one since Blizzard Beasts to feature him on guitar. Peter Tägtgren played bass on this album. In an interview before the album's release, Demonaz said he wanted to make the album as "grim, dark and cold as possible".

Nuclear Blast German independent label, specialised in metal and related music styles

Nuclear Blast is an independent record label and mail order record distributor with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Brazil. The record label was founded in 1987 by Markus Staiger in Germany. Originally releasing hardcore punk records, the label moved on to releasing albums by melodic death metal, grindcore, industrial metal, power metal and black metal bands, as well as tribute albums. It also distributes and promotes two post-hardcore/metalcore labels, SharpTone Records, focused on American scene, and Arising Empire, focused more on European bands such as Novelists, Imminence, Cold Snap and While She Sleeps.

History

First three albums (1991–1996)

Immortal arose from two short-lived bands, Old Funeral and Amputation, which were formed by Abbath and others in 1988. Immortal's original lineup consisted of ex-members from both of these bands. Old Funeral was founded by Abbath and Tore (Tore Bratseth), then went through a string of guitarists (including Demonaz, Varg Vikernes and Jørn Inge Tunsberg) until disbanding in 1992. Abbath, Demonaz, and Jørn formed Amputation, which released two demos with Demonaz on guitar and vocals, Jørn on guitars, and Padden on drums, before disbanding in 1990.

Old Funeral were a black/death metal band from Bergen, Norway.

Varg Vikernes Norwegian musician, writer and convicted murderer

Louis Cachet, more popularly known as Varg Vikernes, is a Norwegian musician and writer. In 1991, he founded the one-man music project Burzum, which became one of the most influential black metal acts. In 1993, he was convicted of murder and arson, and subsequently served 15 years in prison.

Jørn Inge Tunsberg is a death/black metal musician. He lives in Bergen and plays guitar in the black metal band Hades Almighty and the industrial metal band Dominanz.

Members of Old Funeral and Amputation formed Immortal in 1991, [5] with Abbath on bass and lead vocals, Demonaz on guitar, and Armagedda on drums. The music on their early demo recordings was death metal, [6] with lyrics influenced by Morbid Angel and Possessed. [7] The band then became influenced by Euronymous [6] and bands like Bathory and Celtic Frost. [7] They released their self-titled EP in 1991, which saw a stylistic change to black metal. This was followed by their debut album Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism in 1992. Immortal's early full-length releases were in traditional black metal style, but their most acclaimed album, At the Heart of Winter , marks the period when the band began to experiment with a complex fusion of black metal and German thrash metal, [8] resulting in the sound of Immortal's later works.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, nature, philosophy, science fiction, and politics.

Morbid Angel American band

Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida formed in 1983 by guitarist and sole remaining original member Trey Azagthoth, vocalist and bassist Dallas Ward, and drummer Mike Browning. Widely considered as one of the most influential bands in the genre and important in the transition of death metal from its thrash metal roots, they were one of the first bands to incorporate guttural vocals, up-tempo blast beats, multiple tempo changes and dark atmosphere. They have been described as one of "the most influential and emulated bands in death metal", alongside Obituary, Death and Cannibal Corpse, and have been cited as an influence by many later bands. They were also the first death metal band to experience mainstream success in connection with being signed to Giant Records in 1992, heavy rotation of their music videos on MTV, and having the music video for the song "God of Emptiness" shown on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head. Their first four albums – Altars of Madness (1989), Blessed Are the Sick (1991), Covenant (1993) and Domination (1995) – are considered classics in the genre.

Possessed (band) American death metal band

Possessed is an American death metal band, originally formed in 1983. Noted for their fast style of playing and Jeff Becerra's growled vocals, they are often called the first band in the death metal genre. The band is also notable for featuring Larry LaLonde, who was the guitarist of Possessed during the mid-1980s, and went on to join Primus.

In 1995, the band released two video clips directed by British artist David Palser, entitled Masters of Nebulah Frost, through Osmose Productions. They featured many bizarrely-shot images of frozen landscapes and vast forests with the band performing two songs from the album Battles in the North , "Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms" and "Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)", on a Norwegian mountainside. The video for "Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms" features Mayhem drummer, Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg). These clips have become the template for many other bands producing such works, similarly to how "The Call of the Wintermoon" is also highly influential.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Osmose Productions record label

Osmose Productions is a French independent record label created in 1991 by Hervé Herbaut, after he had spent three years running a small mail order company. They specialize mainly in death and black metal bands.

<i>Battles in the North</i> 1995 studio album by Immortal

Battles in the North is the third studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on May 15, 1995 through Osmose Productions. It picks up where its predecessor, Pure Holocaust, left off, featuring extreme tempos, low-fidelity production, and lyrics about coldness or wintery landscapes. This is the first album where the concept of Blashyrkh becomes a central focus. The last album to feature Abbath on drums.

Blizzard Beasts and At the Heart of Winter (1996–1999)

Apart from the two core members, Abbath and Demonaz, Immortal did not find a stable lineup until 1996, when drummer Horgh joined the band and is credited on their album, Blizzard Beasts . A major turning point for the band was in 1997 when Demonaz suffered acute tendinitis in his arm and was unable to continue playing, and Abbath took over for guitar. Despite this, Demonaz continued writing lyrics and has been a manager for the band, accompanying them on tour, releasing updates and giving interviews about how things are progressing with the band. Abbath and Horgh wrote and recorded the band's next album, At the Heart of Winter. During the tours for this album, the band recruited Iscariah to stand in for bass duties, and made him a full-time member.

<i>Blizzard Beasts</i> 1997 studio album by Immortal

Blizzard Beasts is the fourth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on March 20, 1997 through Osmose Productions. It is the last Immortal album to feature the performance of founding member Demonaz Doom Occulta until 2018. and the first to feature Horgh on drums. Demonaz was later diagnosed with acute tendinitis which prevented him from playing guitar at the required speed for Immortal's music. Stylistically, Blizzard Beasts has primarily songs that are less than three minutes long, contrasting with Immortal's usual longer song lengths.

Grim committed suicide in 1999; however, it is said that this was unrelated to his departure from Immortal. The band frequently headlines (as recently as 2007) a festival held in his memory, the Hole in the Sky Festival.

Damned in Black and Sons of Northern Darkness (2000–2003)

The next album, Damned in Black was more similar to their old style. It was well received, but is frequently overlooked as it came between two of their classic albums, At the Heart of Winter and Sons of Northern Darkness . In 2000, the EP Immortal was repackaged as part of the True Kings of Norway compilation by Spinefarm Records. [9] Also in 2000, Immortal signed a record contract with German label Nuclear Blast; this change to a more prominent record company didn't affect their style, a fact proven by their record Sons of Northern Darkness. Two months after this, Iscariah announced his intention to leave the band and was replaced by Saroth for the next few months.

Split (2003–2007)

Immortal decided to split during the summer of 2003 for various personal reasons of the band members. However, in mid-October 2005, Abbath, Demonaz, and original Immortal drummer Armagedda reunited, and along with Gorgoroth bassist King ov Hell and Enslaved guitarist Ice Dale (Arve Isdal), they began work on a new project, dubbed I. This new band entered the studio at the end of April 2006 to record their debut album, Between Two Worlds , released in November 2006. Demonaz also features as lyricist for the band.

In early June 2006, German magazine Rock Hard reported that Abbath, Demonaz and Horgh had decided to resurrect Immortal and start touring again in 2007. Abbath is quoted as saying:

Reunion and All Shall Fall (2007–2014)

In 2007, Immortal reunited for a string of summer shows. They headlined the Inferno Festival in April, the Tuska Open Air festival in June/July, Metal Camp festival in July, and the Wacken Open Air festival in August. They also performed twice in the United States in July 2007. Filling in as bassist for these dates was Aura Noir bassist Apollyon. [10] Immortal first toured Australia and New Zealand in March 2008.

Immortal in 2010 Immortal in 2010.jpg
Immortal in 2010

After the reunion, Abbath and Horgh decided to reform the band on a permanent basis. This was confirmed by Demonaz in an interview with Eternal Terror. [11] Apollyon was the permanent replacement for Iscariah, and the three began working with Demonaz on material for their next album All Shall Fall . All Shall Fall was recorded in April–May 2009, and was released on September 25, 2009. [12]

According to Decibel Magazine's interview, work had begun on Immortal's ninth album stating in the article "four new songs already in the works for a follow-up to All Shall Fall". [13]

Abbath and Demonaz were interviewed in the 2009 American documentary by Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell, Until the Light Takes Us .

The members of Immortal were involved in a legal battle with each other over the rights to the Immortal trademark. [14] [15] They were also due to submit a new album to the Nuclear Blast label, though little information regarding the album and its release had been disclosed. It is confirmed, however, by Abbath that the album had been completed with the aid of various musicians. [16]

In March 2015, Abbath left Immortal as a result of this conflict and an inability to move forward. Abbath has continued to record and perform as a solo act under his name. [2]

On 8 January 2018, the band posted Via Facebook an update on Immortal's upcoming 9th Full-length, stating "We have put a massive amount of energy into this, and wanted to deliver our absolutely best. It has been a pleasure to finish the studio process and most of all being stoked about the final result. Peter Tägtgren has done an outstanding job in producing and mixing it. We now look forward to have it released, and are excited to share our 9th full length with you all." [17] the release date of the album is scheduled for sometime in 2018, releasing under Nuclear Blast Records. The album will feature original member Demonaz on vocals and for the first time in 20 years, he will also play guitar. Demonaz has been the main contributor for the bands lyricism since an injury he had suffered, prevented him from continuing to play guitar for the band since 1998. The last album which had featured Demonaz on guitar was 1997 album Blizzard Beasts . This will be the first Immortal album to not feature Abbath in the lineup.

On 18 April 2018, the tracklisting and title of the new album was revealed to be Northern Chaos Gods and was given a release date of 6 July 2018. [18]

Lyrical style

Immortal's lyrics [19] are based on an overall theme, a realm called "Blashyrkh", which is said to be "demon-and-battle-filled". [5] The idea for Blashyrkh came about from Demonaz and Abbath's feelings of isolation living in Bergen. They created Blashyrkh to mirror those feelings, basing it on Norway, including "winter landscapes", "the woods, the mountains, the darkness, the fog", and "glacial valleys". [13] When writing lyrics, the band's lyricist Demonaz often takes long walks in the Norwegian countryside near his hometown of Bergen for inspiration. Unlike many early black metal bands, Immortal does not have satanic-themed lyrics, [20] opting instead for basing the genre's inherent concepts of darkness and evil in the fantasy setting of Blashyrkh. However, on the band's first album, there were a few satanic references but without any lyrics attacking religion.

Discography

Studio albums

Other releases

Members

Current members

Past members

Live members

Timeline

Immortal (band)

Related Research Articles

Bathory (band) Swedish metal band

Bathory were an extreme metal group formed in Vällingby, Sweden, in 1983 named after Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory. The band's frontman and main songwriter was Quorthon. Considered to be one of the most influential acts in heavy metal, Bathory's first four albums are considered to be "the blueprint for Scandinavian black metal". The band departed from this style on their fifth album, Hammerheart (1990), which is often cited as the first Viking metal album. Bathory continued in the Viking metal style throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, although the band experimented with thrash metal on the albums Requiem (1994) and Octagon (1995). Bathory ended when Quorthon died from heart failure in 2004.

Erik Brødreskift Norwegian musician

Erik Brødreskift was a Norwegian drummer, who played in several black metal bands during his career. He committed suicide by taking an overdose of drugs.

<i>Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism</i> 1992 studio album by Immortal

Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is the first studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on July 1, 1992 through Osmose Productions. It is the only album to feature Armagedda on drums.

<i>Pure Holocaust</i> 1993 studio album by Immortal

Pure Holocaust is the second album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on November 1, 1993, on Osmose Productions. It is generally faster sounding than its predecessor Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism. The lyrics focus mainly on ice, snow, and fantasy landscapes. It is the first album to feature Abbath on drums.

<i>At the Heart of Winter</i> 1999 studio album by Immortal

At the Heart of Winter is the fifth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on February 22, 1999 through Osmose Productions. It is the first Immortal album not to feature Demonaz on guitar, as he suffered from acute tendinitis in his hands. The album marks a shift in Immortal's musical sound, towards a black metal and thrash metal fusion.

<i>Sons of Northern Darkness</i> 2002 studio album by Immortal

Sons of Northern Darkness is the seventh album by the Norwegian black metal band Immortal. Musically, it continues the blackened thrash metal style heard on the two previous releases At the Heart of Winter and Damned in Black. This was the band's first release on Nuclear Blast Records and the last album to feature Iscariah on bass.

<i>Damned in Black</i> 2000 studio album by Immortal

Damned in Black is the sixth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. It was released on April 27, 2000 through Osmose Productions. It's the first album where bass guitar is played by Iscariah, the bassist and vocalist of the band "Dead to This World". The musical style started to embrace a more blackened thrash metal sound, a style that would be as prevalent on their next album, Sons of Northern Darkness.

Olve Eikemo Norwegian musician

Olve Eikemo, better known by his stage name Abbath Doom Occulta or simply Abbath, is a Norwegian musician best known as a founding member of the black metal band Immortal. Before founding Immortal, Abbath performed with Old Funeral alongside future Immortal member Demonaz. While working with Old Funeral, he also joined Demonaz's band Amputation which later became Immortal. He also plays bass in Demonaz's eponymous project.

Reidar Horghagen Norwegian musician

Horgh is a Norwegian drummer, currently playing for Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy. He is also the current drummer for Norwegian black metal band Immortal.

I (band) Norwegian heavy metal group

I were a Norwegian black metal supergroup formed in 2006. The band features Immortal members Abbath and Armagedda, Gorgoroth bassist TC King, and Enslaved's Ice Dale. The band cites Bathory as one of their major influences.

<i>Between Two Worlds</i> (I album) 2006 studio album by I

Between Two Worlds is the debut album by Norwegian black metal supergroup I. The album was recorded at the Lydriket Studio and later mixed by Peter Tägtgren at the Abyss studio. The album showcases Abbath's straightforward metal style rather than his black metal style. The album displays a clear influence from classic metal bands, which although present in Abbath's primary band Immortal, is here the sole focus of the music. A limited edition digipack was released, which includes three bonus tracks. A limited edition metal box was also released, also featuring the three bonus tracks, and was limited to 1000 copies.

Harald Nævdal, known by his stage names Demonaz Doom Occulta and Demonaz, is a Norwegian musician best known as the founding guitarist and chief lyricist for the black metal band Immortal.

Ole Moe Norwegian musician

Apollyon is a black metal/thrash metal multi-instrumentalist, formerly associated with Dødheimsgard and Cadaver, now playing in Aura Noir and also Immortal after its reforming in 2006. He has done guest vocals on the Darkthrone albums Plaguewielder and Sardonic Wrath, and also on Audiopain's EP 1986 (2000). He was a live guitarist for Gorgoroth from 2003 to 2004, and performed at Gorgoroth's now infamous Kraków gig in February 2004. In 2004 Apollyon participated in a live tribute to Quorthon of Bathory at the Hole in the Sky festival in Bergen, Norway. Apollyon played bass on all songs, and also did the vocals on the song Equimanthorn. In addition to Apollyon, the line-up of this tribute band consisted of Bård Faust (ex-Emperor) on drums and Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Samoth (Emperor) on guitars, as well as guest vocalists Gaahl (Gorgoroth), Abbath (Immortal), Grutle Kjellson (Enslaved), Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone) and Satyr (Satyricon).

<i>All Shall Fall</i> 2009 studio album by Immortal

All Shall Fall is the eighth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Immortal. The album was released in Europe on 25 September 2009 and in the US on 6 October 2009. It is the only album to feature bassist Apollyon and the last to feature vocalist/guitarist Abbath Doom Occulta.

<i>The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh</i> 2010 video by Immortal

The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh is black metal band Immortal's first live DVD. All content is from the Wacken Open Air set they performed in 2007, as part of their comeback tour, The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh.

<i>Abbath</i> (album) 2016 studio album by Abbath

Abbath is the self-titled debut album by Norwegian black metal band Abbath. It was released on January 22, 2016 through Season of Mist. It is the only album to feature drummer Creature before his departure in December 2015. The album is composed mostly of content that Abbath had originally prepared for the next Immortal album which was ultimately never used for it following his departure from the band in 2015.

References

  1. "Immortal Official Web Site: Band". Immortalofficial.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Abbath Puts Immortal To Rest, Launches New Band". Blabbermouth.net . 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  3. "ABBATH-Less IMMORTAL Begins Work On New Material: 'We Will Continue What We Believe In'". Blabbermouth.net . 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  4. Munro, Scott (13 August 2015). "Immortal move on without Abbath". Team Rock Limited. Retrieved 13 August 2015. Immortal is much more than just a band, and much more then[ sic ] just a form of music. The departure of one member cannot change that. We will continue what we believe in.
  5. 1 2 Serba, John. "Immortal". AllMusic . Retrieved 2011-07-18.
  6. 1 2 Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998, p. 39.
  7. 1 2 Brad Angle: Immortal: The Brothers Grim. In: Guitar World . 2007.
  8. John Serba (1999-12-07). "At the Heart of Winter - Immortal | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic . Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  9. https://www.spirit-of-metal.com/en/album/True_Kings_of_Norway/5652
  10. "Reunited Immortal to Headline Norway's Inferno Festival". Blabbermouth.net . 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2006-10-01.
  11. "Immortal Rehearsing Songs for New Studio Album". BW&BK. 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  12. "New Album Release Date". Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  13. 1 2 "Immortal Interview, Decibel magazine, October 2009". Archived from the original on 2009-09-14.
  14. "Immortal Members Embroiled In Legal Battle Over Rights To Band Name". Blabbermouth.net . 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  15. Pål Nordseth. "De er et av verdens største black metal-band. Nå krangler de om rettighetene til logoen - kultur". Dagbladet.no. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  16. "ABBATH: I Thought DEMONAZ And HORGH Quit IMMORTAL". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved 2014-12-23.
  17. "IMMORTAL HAS COMPLETED NEW ALBUM!". Immortal. 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  18. "Exclusive: IMMORTAL Frontman DEMONAZ Talks New Album – "I Don't Think We've Ever Been As Focused On The Songwriting"". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles . April 18, 2018. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  19. Marone, V. (2014). "A Winterhorde in a Ravenrealm: Immortal's lyrics as an expression of Northeroic Gothic" (PDF). Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies. 1 (2): 40–60.
  20. "Immortal Interview". Heavymetal.about.com. Retrieved 2016-11-29.