First re-release of the third full-length album by legendary Norwegian Black Metal band.
In 1993, Immortal released what is considered to be their sophomore work, "Pure Holocaust". Two years later, they decided to go a little harsher, to produce a colder album: something on which we can bestow the term "grim and frostbitten". “Battles In The North” picks up where its predecessor, “Pure Holocaust”, left off with extreme speed and lo/fi production and lyrics about coldness and wintery landscapes.
The songwriting on this album is awesome. Demonaz slams us with riff after riff, each more atmospheric and catchy than the one preceding it. Those riffs are harsh, harsher than on "Pure Holocaust", but still, they retain the melodic edge, and they go well with Abbath's drumming, which is just amazing and sounds very natural. And not only does Abbath succeed in creating some of the best blast-beats ever, but he also does great work with the slow parts. Great Black Metal drumming. The bass is buried deep beneath the other instruments, but since this is Black Metal, there isn't a big problem. Concerning the vocals, Abbath is as strong and mighty as ever, and in addition to handling the drums and bass, this king of northern darkness's vocals are more "croaky" than on "Pure Holocaust", which is a good thing actually, and gives this album a slab of originality.
Overall, the instruments (and vocals) intertwine well with each other, creating an atmosphere not a lot of Black Metal artists have: an atmosphere of a devastating snowstorm in the mountains of Norway. The mix is quite strange, with the drums and vocals getting a higher volume than the guitars, and although this adds to the stormy atmosphere.
Like “Pure Holocaust”, it is also considered to be a classic album in Black Metal. This is also the first album where the concept of Blashyrkh becomes a central focus for the album. The concept continues through all of their subsequent albums. And it’s also the last album to feature Abbath on drums. Video for "Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms" featured Hellhammer on drums.
"Battles In The North" is a great album, an awesome record from the legendary Norse band; it's an essential true Black Metal record. If you're a fan of Black Metal, you should go ahead and grab this right now, for it will surely throw you in the midst of a tempest and destroy your mind with awesome riffs and brutal drumming!!
All hail Immortal, the mighty sons of northern darkness!!!
In 2009, IGN Entertainment Inc. included “Battles In The North” in their "10 Great Black Metal Albums" list.
Osmose Productions, 1995/1997 (OPCD 027/SPV 084-20332 CD). Made in Austria. CD comes in white jewel case.
1.Battles in the North 04:12
2.Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms 02:47
3.Descent into Eminent Silence 03:10
4.Throned by Blackstorms 03:39
5.Moonrise Fields of Sorrow 02:25
6.Cursed Realms of the Winterdemons 03:59
7.At the Stormy Gates of Mist 03:00
8.Through the Halls of Eternity 03:36
9.Circling Above in Time Before Time 03:56
10.Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark) 04:34
Total playing time: 35:18
The track listing on the original CD is incorrect. The songs play in the order shown above, but the song titles are given as follows:
1. Battles in the North
2. At the Stormy Gates of Mist
3. Through the Halls of Eternity
4. Moonrise Fields of Sorrow
5. Cursed Realms of the Winterdemons
6. Throned by Blackstorms
7. Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms
8. Descent into Eminent Silence
9. Circling Above in Time Before Time
10. Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)