Abbath is the rare individual who seems to have become a metal icon o his own - with that as the starting goal and his entire image shaped around that. And yeah - his career certainly seemed to slow down a bit for a minute there but now that he's out of Immortal the man is putting out some of the best music that he has released in years. With his eponymous solo debut Abbath is pushing the boundaries of what we have known him for so long in order to unleash some wonderfully raw black metal that simply resonates.
What impresses me about Abbath is that the band didn't do the easy thing. Abbath could have put out a record where all he did was knock off material from At The Heart Of Winter. And while yes - there definitely are more than a few traditional Immortal elements in the sound, Abbath has done an impressive job of keeping it frostbitten but distancing himself from the Immortal paradigm. These riffs have a blazing might all of their own - one that recalls the magic of Immortal but suggests that Abbath knows how to do so much more. There is a very real internal madness to what the band has conjured up here and it gives us a group with a style that is wholly their own.
Abbath does exactly what he needs to on this record and then some. He has written music that will resonate with old school Immortal fans, but also work that can bring in a whole new audience. It speaks to the enduring power of black metal and allows you a chance to raise your fist in honor of the man who made black metal a lifestyle. Sure he's had all this line up difficulty, and sure he's a little bit crazy. But would you have him any other way? Now all we can do is sit back and enjoy the bombastic magic of Abbath.
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