Saturday, September 11, 2010


Biography :

Immortal is a black metal band from Bergen, Norway. The band was formed by Abbath and Demonaz Doom Occulta after their previous band, Amputation, did not take off.

Immortal's beginnings can be traced to the death metal band Old Funeral, formed in 1988, of which both Abbath and Demonaz were members. The band's frontman Abbath also formed the band Amputation in 1989, releasing two demos before deciding to form Immortal.[1] This new band consisted of band members from both Amputation and Old Funeral. Though remaining members of Old Funeral attempted to keep the band alive, they dissolved prior to Immortal's first demo releases.

Immortal's early full-length releases were of a traditional black metal style, but their acclaimed album At the Heart of Winter saw the band begin to experiment with a complex fusion of black metal and German thrash metal. The resulting sound (which could be called melodic black metal) was a style which characterized Immortal's later works. Immortal has been influential to many modern metal artists. The band has arguably maintained the most occult-mysticism image and way of life traditionally credited to black metal. Conversely, unlike many black metal bands, Immortal does not espouse Satanism.
They are often noted as having created their own niche in black metal which has guaranteed them a spot on the list of the best bands in the history of the genre. Several classic albums such as Pure Holocaust, Battles In The North, At The Heart Of Winter and Sons Of Northern Darkness also help to solidify their status. With recent (2006) mid-price reissues of their classic back catalog in major markets, their music is now much more widely available. A defining feature of the band is their lyrics that focus on an imaginary world that is plagued by war and suffering, called Blashyrkh, ruled by the Mighty Ravendark, which is inspired by Demonaz's daily walks in the icy Norwegian forests that surround his home. Their over the top appearance with corpse paint and the cult status of their artwork (such as the album cover of Battles in the North and the cover and internal artwork of At The Heart Of Winter) has also contributed to their notability. The band has also distanced itself from the criminal activities and controversy that is usually associated with black metal. There have been a few minor controversies with members of Immortal after they have left the band, such as original rhythm guitarist Jørn's conviction of church burning, as well as Erik "Grim" Brødreskift's suicide in 1999.
Amputation recorded their first two demos in 1989 with Demonaz Doom Occulta on guitar and vocals, Jørn Inge Tunsberg on guitars, and Padden on drums.[1] The group later reformed as Immortal around 1990–1991, adding Abbath Doom Occulta on bass and lead vocals and replacing Padden with Armagedda. 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 which is similar in style to the following two albums but many have noted it is slower than later recordings. While Jørn had already left the band, his guitar parts were left on the record even though he was not credited in the album insert.
Gradually, Immortal gained immense popularity in the underground, partly due to their infamous music video for The Call of the Wintermoon (though the TV station which aired the video proceeded to mock the band in the following interview and labeled them as "Satanists".) In describing the band's sound, stand-in drummer Kolgrim said the band's style was that of "Pure Holocaust Metal" which found its way onto the bands next album, Pure Holocaust, which itself is seen as a genre-defining milestone. The album was recorded by Demonaz and Abbath although they found Grim just a few weeks afterwards and he was put on the cover photo shoot. The next album, Battles in the North was also recorded by only Abbath and Demonaz as Grim had been asked to leave as they felt he could not help them move their music forward. Grim committed suicide in 1999 (although not due the fact that he had been fired from Immortal). There is a music festival in his memory, the Hole in the Sky Festival, which Immortal frequently headline, most recently in 2007.
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. 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. Hellhammer toured with the band for Battles In The North and was asked to join by Abbath and Demonaz but declined.
Apart from the two core members Abbath and Demonaz, Immortal did not find a stable lineup until 1996, when drummer Horgh joined the band. Horgh joined the band in time to actually play on the record Blizzard Beasts which was Immortal's first real experimental style, combing the sound of Immortal's three albums before it with a death metal style sound. It was not critically acclaimed although in time it has become more popular with fans. A major turning point for the band was in 1997 when Demonaz (then main lyricist and guitarist) suffered acute tendinitis in his arm and was unable to continue playing. Despite this, he has 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. Bassist Abbath took over the guitar duty. Abbath and Horgh wrote and recorded the band's next album, At The Heart Of Winter. This album was very different from what had come before as it sounded much closer to thrash metal than any album before or after it and was extremely well met by fans and critics alike. During the tours for this album, the band recruited Iscariah to stand in for bass duties and were suitably impressed with his skills that they made him a full time member.
The next album, and first with Iscariah, Damned In Black was more similar to their old style but kept many thrashy elements as well as some death metal influences. 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, 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.
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 came word via the German magazine Rock Hard that Abbath, Demonaz and Horgh had decided to resurrect Immortal once more. Abbath is quoted as saying:
“ I didn't really want to say it, but I don't give a shit. We will come back, stronger than ever. I've met with Horgh for the first time in over a year. He's built his new house here, right around the corner. In the next few days we will begin to rehearse our old 'Blizzard Beasts' classics. I'm already really hot on the idea. Immortal are timeless frost. One year more or less doesn't make a difference. We have all the time in the world. ”
In July 2006 it was announced that Immortal would reunite for a string of summer shows in 2007. 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 the Aura Noir bassist Apollyon.[2] Immortal have since announced the band's first tour of Australia and New Zealand in March 2008.
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 [1]. Apollyon is 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.[3]
According to Decibel Magazine's interview, work has 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,"

Band Members :

* Abbath - Vocals/Guitar
* Apollyon - Bass
* Horgh - Drums
* Demonaz - Lyrics

Discography :

* Immortal - Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism (1992)
* Immortal - Pure Holocaust (1993)
* Immortal - Blizzard Beasts (1997)
* Immortal - At the Heart of Winter (1999)
* Immortal - Damned in Black (2000)
* Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness (2002)
* Immortal - All Shall Fall (2009)

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