IMMORTAL — Blizzard Beasts

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IMMORTAL - Blizzard Beasts cover
3.61 | 21 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1997

Filed under Black Metal
By IMMORTAL

Tracklist

1. Intro (1:00)
2. Blizzard Beasts (2:49)
3. Nebular Ravens Winter (4:12)
4. Suns That Sank Below (2:46)
5. Battlefields (3:40)
6. Mountains of Might (6:37)
7. Noctambulant (2:22)
8. Winter of the Ages (2:32)
9. Frostdemonstorm (2:53)

Total Time: 28:56

Line-up/Musicians

Abbath Doom Occulta - Bass, Vocals
Demonaz Doom Occulta - Guitar
Horgh - Drums

About this release

Recorded in Sigma recording studios Sept-Nov. '96.
Produced & mixed by Immortal & Henrikke Helland.
Blizzard beasts,Suns that sank below,Battlefields,Frostdemonstorm composed by Abbath & Demonaz.
Nebular ravens winter,Mountains of might,Noctambulant,Winter of the ages composed by Abbath.
All arrangements by Immortal.
All lyrics by Demonaz.
Lyrical assistance - Simon Dancaster.
Album cover photo by Ib Jensen.
Gear supply by Jan Ove Nordeide & Hagstram musikk.

The final album to feature Demonaz on guitar, due to an RSI injury.

On the first press, logo was printed/engraved in the cd-case front. This version
does not list the intro on either the inlay or the booklet, but the track is
still included.

2005: Vinyl re-issue on Osmose (Lim 1000)
2010: Vinyl re-issue on Osmose
- black vinyl

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.

Thanks to Prog Geo, adg211288 for the updates

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IMMORTAL BLIZZARD BEASTS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
Black metal has proved to be an enigmatic music form, constantly being redefined and recreated, while progressing little from the original blueprint. The genre's beauty and brutality make uneasy partners, and often multi-instrumentalism creates the former, which can detract from the latter. Immortal however, use aggression to generate the atmosphere on `Blizzard Beasts', rejecting subtlety and embracing ferocity.

The sound on `Blizzard Beasts' is understated rather than the usual necro black metal low fidelity buzz. The vocals are buried deep, little more than a whisper over the raging metal maelstrom. The band's initial impact harkens to a less technical Morbid Angel, and second track "Nebular Ravens Winter" revisits Morbid Angel's "Maze Of Torment" in it's blast sections. The Morbid Angel reference is only fleeting, but it appears more than once, reoccurring on "Battlefields". That's not to say Immortal did not have their own sound - far from it. In places, there is a groove of sorts, and the band was a lot heavier than their peers in a traditional metal sense. While Darkthrone and Mayhem stripped their sound of bass, Immortal weren't afraid of a bit of bottom end.

Demonaz's guitars are the most outstanding feature of the album, all razor sharp rawness and spiky riffs. This is the final Immortal album Demonaz performed on, retiring from playing music due to a repetitive strain injury. Listening to his playing, the injury is no surprise. "Suns That Sank Below" is all cascading riffs and crashing percussion. In fact, Demonaz never seems to let up, knowing only one speed to play - flat out. The song even features a short solo, played at breakneck speed of course, and is well buried under Horgh's relentless percussion.

Horgh himself is a corpse painted, bullet belted, beer gutted wrecking machine. Laugh at the man's image and appearance all you like, but don't ever question his ability. Want to hear some of the hardest hitting black metal drumming you'll ever hear? Try "Winter Of The Ages", where the percussion simply lays waste to all else.

"Mountains Of Might" is a slight change of pace, providing an atmospheric introduction followed by a more traditional Metal song, with reasonably well defined riffs, and Abbath speaking rather than screaming. A semi-acoustic mid section proved the band could do more than just play fast, and even though the overall tempo is still rapid, it is slower than the tracks surrounding it. The sound is icy and bare, and clocking in at over six and a half minutes, "Mountains Of Might" has almost an epic feel to it. Almost.

Abbath's demonic croak is early Quorthon all over. Many passages of the album sound Bathory-esque, but at the same time the vocals sound almost chillingly inhuman.

While the moments of subtlety are few and far between, they provide enough contrast on this album to break up what could have been a monotonous half hour long blast beat. Immortal was never a band for delicacy and finesse, and fans wouldn't expect any. Sure, it's far from original, but so what? `Blizzard Beasts' is brutal, fast and unrelenting. That's what Immortal do so well.
666sharon666
The fourth Immortal album Blizzard Beasts brought the band's line-up back up to three strong with the addition of Horgh on drums. This was the final album though to feature guitarist Demonaz as he was forced to step down due to an RSI injury that left him unable to play Immortal's music. He stayed on as lyricist and manager though.

Blizzard Beasts is the album where Immortal started to experiment a bit with ideas outside of the black metal genre. There's a noticeable death metal element to the album that wasn't present on the three previous albums or on anything that followed this one, making Blizzard Beasts one of the most unique entries in the Immortal discography. Unfortunately it is also a much weaker one than the prior Battles in the North which I consider the best they'd done up until this point. It's an album that's grown on me a fair bit over the years though so if anything I'd call this an underrated release from them. With that said the songs aren't always as powerful sounding as they could be, though neither are they as indistinct from each other as those found on the first two albums. The sound production is I think technically better but some of the atmosphere of older material was lost in the process.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/immortal-blizzard-beasts-t3686.html
Warthur
Blizzard Beasts saw Demonaz' last album as the band's lead guitarists, before the onset of tendonitis forced him to step down as a performing member of the band. (It speaks a lot to the friendship between him and Abbath that Demonaz is still considered a full band member, penning all the lyrics.) It's interesting to ponder what direction the band's music might have taken had Demonaz not been forced to step down, because Blizzard Beasts finds them moving in the direction of death metal - in particular, some of the guitar solos put me in mind of Morbid Angel, and Abbath's vocals drift towards death metal grunts instead of black metal shrieks at more than one point.

To be honest, the end result isn't a stellar example of blackened death metal (or deathened black metal), so I'm inclined to say this is one of the less essential Immortal releases, but at the same time it's an entertaining (if brief) listen and I'm not sorry I own it.
adg211288
Immortal is a band that won’t ever win any longest running album awards, but the length of Blizzard Beasts, their fourth album is rather pitiful to say the least. Even by Immortal’s standard it’s short. It clocks it at just 28:56, not even a full half hour of music. I have CD’s that are supposed to be only extended plays that are longer than this full length. At least everything else by Immortal clocks in at a time of at least 33:46 (Pure Holocaust).

I am a strong believer in quality over quantity, so what really grates at me is that this isn’t actually that good. Immortal have opted for one of those pointless intro type tracks which just consists of some random noises and Abbath screaming some random words. The first proper song, the title track Blizzard Beasts isn’t anything special either. Mediocre black metal. The same applies for Noctambulant.

Nebular Ravens Winter, Suns that Sank Below and Winter of the Ages are much better though. New drummer Horgh has put a new-found energy into Immortal’s music, and they have found more melody on this album, but for the most part it is just the actually song writing that lets it down when put up against their other releases. There is some lead guitar from Demonaz, which stands out much better than his leads from previous album Battles in the North, as production has been greatly improved here.

Mountains of Might is the best song here, not just because its one of the few that clocks in at over three minutes. But it has some varity aside from full on guitar riffs, and guttural vocals. It has its heavy parts, and its clean tone guitar type parts, which they do vary when they appear. It was one of the only times that I can recalled thinking that growls work over a clean tone.

One thing that I feel the need to make note of is the fact that some songs sound more like death metal than black metal. The song Battlefields is a good example of this. It’s more in Abbath’s vocals than the instrument playing of the three-piece, although it in itself is decidedly different from Blizzard Beasts three predecessors, but runs throughout the album.

Despite some good songs, there’s not much on here that would go well on an Immortal best-of album. Only one song, Mountains of Might would get a guarantied place on such an album, with Nebular Ravens Winter and Winter of the Ages close behind if there was room after their other albums were taken into account. Immortal’s weakest? Yes I think so. Maybe taking that into account it’s a good thing this album is so short, for boredom didn’t really have a chance to set in.

Members reviews

metalmillennium
Yet another new album from Immortal and after adding a new drummer, Horgh.

Coming alive with Abbath's trademark rasp, tribal drums and howling winds, the cd starts off pretty well. But that doesn't last too long. The unfortuneate thing about this album is that it starts off so well and then loses ground until it can't catch up. Mixing a few decent songs with some disasters doesn't work too well, especially with some decent, thrown together production to top things off. Every aspect of Immortal is still present, but they have put things together in a poor way, leaving the album to degrade itself from song 1. This is Horgh's first recording with the band and he shows some decent drumming, but is a far cry from what he sounds like today. This would be Demonaz's last recording with the band due to tendinitis in his right wrist, and it dissapoints me to see him close his career with a recording this like one. The variation, uniqueness and production of Immortal's sound has gone downhill on this album. As much as the cd tries to keep you interested, it just doesn't follow through and suffers being shelved after the third or fourth song, even with the songs "Nebular Ravens Winter" and "Blizzard Beasts".

Unless you're an Immortal fanatic, avoid this one.

Ratings only

  • lopolik
  • Psydye
  • MorniumGoatahl
  • Fant0mas
  • Anster
  • Necrotica
  • TheHeavyMetalCat
  • Unitron
  • powermetal2000
  • Immortalis
  • jahkhula
  • aecht
  • Zargus
  • Tlön
  • Bartje1979
  • NorseGangsta

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