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3.60 | 23 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1992

Filed under Black Metal


1. Intro (1:34)
2. The Call of the Wintermoon (5:39)
3. Unholy Forces of Evil (4:28)
4. Cryptic Winterstorms (6:07)
5. Cold Winds of Funeral Dust (3:47)
6. Blacker Than Darkness (4:16)
7. A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland (9:03)

Total Time: 34:58


Demonaz Doom Occulta - Guitar
Abbath Doom Occulta - Bass, vocals
Armagedda - Drums and percussion

About this release

Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism was recorded in Grieghallen studios, April '92
Engineered by Eirik Hundvin
Produced by Immortal and Eirik Hundvin
Logo and front cover by J.W.H.
Photos by Immortal
Layout by Demonaz Doom Occulta
Back cover photo by Stein Kare

Format: CD/LP/PicLP
Re-released in 1998 as a limited Picture Disc (300 copies).

2005: Vinyl re-issue on Osmose (Lim 1000)

2010: Vinyl re-issue on Osmose
- splatter (277 copies)
- A/B side colors (300 copies)
- black vinyl

A video was also made for "The Call of the Wintermoon".

Trivia: on the back side of the CD/Tape-version, the track "Cold Winds of
Funeral Dust" is misspelled as "Cold Winds of Feneral Dust".

Warning - Osmose CD presses from February 2001 up to around 2005 may contain a
copy-protection method which renders the CD completely unreadable in PCs and
certain modern Hi-Fi systems. This isn't indicated anywhere on the packaging.

"Diabolical Fullmoon..." was pressed on limited edition pic. disc in 1997

Thanks to Prog Geo, adg211288 for the updates


More places to buy metal & IMMORTAL music

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Norway's Immortal are, in my opinion, among the country's best black metal exports and Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is their debut album from 1992. The band were a three piece consisting of Abbath (vocals, bass), Demonaz (guitars) and Armagedda (drums) at this point.

I tend draw a line between Immortal's albums, the rawer sound of the first four albums and the better produced and thrashy later albums. Since it's their debut Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is one of the least polished in their catalogue, staying true to the conventions held by the earliest second wave black metal bands. It's because of this that I don't think it stands out in any way the way later releases from both sides of the line to. It's a good album for those than enjoy this sort of black metal sound but I can't help but think that Immortal were still finding their feet here. I consider the most accomplished track to be A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland as it contains more ideas and moods than most songs on the album do, but at nine minutes long overstays its welcome. In short Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is worth picking up if you're a major fan of the band to hear where they started from but otherwise this one is actually pretty skippable.

Of all the core bands of the Norwegian black metal scene, Immortal is the one people usually turn to when they want to make the whole affair look silly - and it's usually the Call of the Wintermoon music video people use for that purpose. Whilst writing the band off as goofy LARPers would be a stupid thing to do, it is the case that they seem to be a bit less Serious Business and have a bit more fun with what they do than the likes of, say, Burzum or Mayhem.

Take, for example, Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism, their debut album. From the very beginning, Immortal's lyrical focus is not on screaming about Satan or slamming Christianity or proclaiming that only death is real or being all RRRR I HATE THE WORLD; whilst the lyrics are not all as directly and unambiguously based around their homebrewed fantasy world of Blashyrkh, the very Blashyrkh-like themes of cold, winter, sorcery and dark spirits are all present and correct. Musically speaking, the band work in a few acoustic guitar passages here and there to provide a more varied mood than your typical black metal album - and the overall atmosphere of the piece is more like a really brutal fantasy movie soundtrack than a kvlt manifesto against Christianity or whatever.

Sure, maybe by getting in good production and a varied sound on this album (and donning wizard hats in the music video) Immortal weren't playing along with the whole "black metal is serious business" idea which the likes of Euronymous were pushing at the time. But when the results are this fun, I'm more than happy to go along with them.
I believe that a band’s first full length is the first step that will make or break them. From what I can hear from this I can certainly tell how Immortal have become one of the most respected names in the black metal genre. It’s not quite into the range of a classic album but it is extremely solid material on offer and it is certainly a superior debut album that showcases a young band with much to offer their listeners.

The one major problem for me here is that they started it with one of these intro type tracks, something I nearly always fail to see the point in. Luckily for Immortal that this is one of the few cases where the intro track does actually work, however it could have just as easily been a part of the intro for the first proper song, The Call of the Wintermoon. Basically it’s faulted but not outright terrible, or an overly pointless addition to the track listing.

Speaking of The Call of the Wintermoon it’s probably the one that newcomers may have heard before since it’s one of the few Immortal songs that has a, albeit rather awful, music video. But in all honesty it’s actually the weakest of the album’s songs in my opinion. So if you’ve heard this one and liked it then this album is a very safe purchase. Of course even though I think it’s the weakest track, it's not exactly what I'd call bad. So don’t let that weak word put you off at all. Yes, the guitar riffs are not the best that Demonaz or Abbath have ever played and yes, Abbath can, and does do better vocals on Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism than on this song and rather annoyingly it is a song that doesn’t vary all that often, so it’s long drawn out intro (note I’m talking about The Call of the Wintermoon as a track, not the actual intro track) gets somewhat boring. It’s a case of quantity over quality for the most part, but fortunately the rest of this album is a much stronger affair.

What makes the album really exceptional is that I actually think it’s one of those albums worth owning just for a select track or two. These two songs being Cryptic Winterstorms and A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland. Both sound dark and evil but mixed with some acoustics that adds a depth of variety to the raw black metal sound produced elsewhere. While longer than The Call of the Wintermoon, A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland does the complete opposite and gives at least double the quality for it’s nine minute length. Both tracks are classics of the band.

The other tracks are good, each stronger than The Call of the Wintermoon but not up to the standard of the ones mentioned above. Unholy Forces of Evil is a particular best of the rest, although you can’t go far wrong with Blacker Than Darkness or Cold Winds of Funeral Dust either.

As players Immortal are good even if they are not the best that the genre has to offer and as a songwriter Demonaz in particular deservedly gets a special mention here as throughout the album his lyrics are really good and fitting to the genre of metal that his band plays. As a lead guitarist his solos are not overly fast but instead he makes them fit the mood of the song and it’s this factor of his writing/playing that really saves The Call of the Wintermoon from falling into mediocre territory. Abbath is a decent enough bass player (I personal think he has more to offer as a guitarist however (for those not aware, he switched instrument when Demonaz was forced to withdraw from being Immortal's guitarist) - no disrespect to Demonaz intended) and vocalist, although he would improve greatly by the time the second album, Pure Holocaust would be released. The drumming of Armagedda is talented although not a patch on Immortal’s latter drummer, Horgh.

A special mention to the production of Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism. While it is a part of black metal for production to not be as good as in other genres of metal, Immortal have had the sense not to sound so raw that the music suffers for it, and at the same time have managed to make it sound raw enough for the spirit of black metal to be alive and well within Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism. Yes it is much more accessible than other black metal debut albums like Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky or Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathans but it isn’t a total departure from the sound of such bands that are dubbed ‘the sound of true black metal’ by many fans. They’ve had the guts to be different, and not just because of that fact. Each album from here onwards would showcase a different sound, meaning that they’ve never made this, or any other albums they’ve done twice. So in summary if you want a black metal band that has tons of variety, Immortal is that band and this is a great album to start with, but there are better releases to hear.

Members reviews

Primeval Scum
After listening through the Immortal discography and letting all the material sink in, I've come to the conclusion that Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is not only my favorite Immortal album, but also one of the strongest releases in 90s black metal.

Yeah, At The Heart of Winter was enjoyable and Sons of Northern Darkness had some great moments, but it's this album - the debut - that I keep coming back to. I am struggling to understand why it has one of the lowest ratings in the band's discography.

To my ears, Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism has a unique character and a level of energy, flow and charisma to it that is unmatched by any of their other work. It's so much fun to listen to at any time of the day or year. Short but sweet, it's a real treat.

The Call of the Wintermoon, despite its ridiculous music video, is a hell of a song and one of Immortal's best. Unholy Forces of Evil is packed full of riffs that slay and ferocious vocals. Cryptic Winterstorms keeps the frigid atmosphere going with its brilliant acoustic sections. The drumming of Blacker Than Darkness is insane. "A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland" is a true epic that takes you on a journey, and one of Immortal's most ambitious tracks in the vein of Bathory. It also contains one of the most climactic moments in the band's history (the guitar solo at the end).

All in all, this is a beast of a black metal release. Most of all, it's FUN to listen to and doesn't take itself too seriously. Highly recommended.
The debut album from the Norweigan black metal group that is known for blazing guitars with pretty technical riffing. Being formed by members of Old Funeral, Abbath and Demonaz have started a band that would break many boundaries in black metal by including Demonaz's great guitar riffs with Abbath's great vocals to become one the most popular Norweigan black metal bands in the genre today.

Seeing that this is the debut album, you will find that this album isn't exactly as fast as the future albums are. Since black metal was still very simple in form when this album was recorded, there isn't the complexity and speed that the rest of the Immortal albums are known to have had. Everything besides that is found in this album, mind you, but alot of the reason Immortal is so popular is because of their "extreme" sound and speed. This is a great history lesson for the band and interesting to hear the links to the future recordings, but overall, there really isn't anything to get excited over here. Abbath's vocals hadn't trademarked themselves yet and his vocals sound like many other black metal bands that recorded albums during this time period. (Darkthrone,etc.) Demonaz shows some good solos in songs, like "Cryptic Winter Storms", but again, still lacks the speed and sound that most Immortal fans are accoustomed to. Recommended if you liked the black metal scene during this time period, or if you want to hear the roots of the band.

Ratings only

  • lopolik
  • Train_Food
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • Anster
  • Necrotica
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • powermetal2000
  • Unitron
  • Psydye
  • Immortalis
  • jsorigar
  • IMPF2112
  • jahkhula
  • Wilytank
  • aecht
  • Zargus
  • Tlön
  • NorseGangsta

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