Musically, this release is a bit better then 'Damned In Black.' The production is more audible so the instruments and vocals are much clearer sounding. There seems to be some riffs very similar to 'At The Heart Of Winter' as well. Not as catchy, but still a better effort than 'Damned In Black' because of the melodic riffs with some more brutal time signatures as especially displayed on the intro entitled "One By One."
There's a lot of blast beats by Horgh to assist the more intense tempos by Abbath. Some songs feature clean style guitar work though not taking up an entire song but just a smidgen amount of them. Also, there is an atmospheric intro on the track entitled 'Antarctica.' Fit the title perfectly! Abbath definitely progressed on the guitar ever since replacing Demonaz back in 1997. His leads are more technical on this album but aren't the greatest. I find the rhythms to be more catchy then anything else.
As I've noted sound wise this album succeeds 'Damned In Black' with a clearer production by Peter Tagtgren. Abbath's vocal abilities haven't changed really based on what I've heard from previous releases. However, there's more screams by him on here. The songwriting by Abbath progressed with more technical efforts as opposed to previous releases.
The lyrical content on here was done by Demonaz. His topics reflect grimness, winter, the north, battles and winterdemons. Ever since being replaced by Abbath because of tendinitis in his arm, he stuck with Immortal fulfilling the lyrical content. That occurred after 'Blizzard Beasts' was released. Abbath was on bass/vocals from 1990-1997. He took over on the guitar and Demonaz started writing the lyrics for each album beginning on 'At The Heart Of Winter.' There are absolutely no covers on this release. Just over 50 minutes in length here and 8 solid tracks!
Immortal disbanded after this album. The bonus DVD features them live at BB King's in New York via 2005. This album is one of Immortal's most brutal even though as previously stated there were clean bits as well as quite a few melodic riffs. There really wasn't any track that didn't fail to attract my attention towards. The whole album I was impressed with. These musicians once again reflected much seniority in their songwriting style.
Reviewed By Death8699 (firstname.lastname@example.org).