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Review: Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter
At The Heart Of Winter

Label: Osmose Productions
Year released: 1999
Duration: 46:16
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: June 13, 2000
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.51/5 (90.2%) (98 Votes)

Hehehe.... Now that's the stuff!  I would never have thought that a black metal album would end up among my favorites, but "At The Heart Of Winter" is just great from beginning to end.  The cover art, breaking Immortal's tradition of using a band picture, is by itself a masterpiece.  Well, they felt the need to add six great songs to the deal :).

Ok so I had to get used to the vocals, which are surprisingly good, meaning that it doesn't take that much effort to "decipher" the lyrics, unlike for some other bands in the genre.  A good thing, considering that Immortal's lyrics are surprisingly well written.  The music is heavy, fast, aggressive, awesome.  Do not expect a ballad on this one folks!  The only thing that comes "close" is the introduction of the title track which is instrumental, very ear-pleasing, yet very "dark".  That's only for about a minute as it does not take long before they start thundering away into what is arguably the best song on this album.

Some might see this as a "commercialization" of the Immortal sound, as it is a little slower than previous releases, but this remains among the best Black metal out there.  If anything, it will bring new fans to the genre.  This remains some faster, heavier music than the more "accessible" metal offerings, and they've managed to get an overall dark feeling to the whole album that one just can't ignore.  Immortal is also much more mature in its songwriting than some Black metal bands that are so ridiculous they give the genre a bad name.  Fortunately, there are albums such as this one that set the record straight.  An absolute must-have.

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