Label: Osmose Productions
Pictured above: an accurate representation of the UK right now.
Jokes aside, I feel like Immortal sometimes don’t get enough credit. Their discography to date doesn’t contain a bad album, and there’s something hugely endearing about their commitment to the imagery of the band as grim, frost-bitten warriors from Mighty Ravendark. There’s several reasonable choices for which is their best album, but right now – in a small, cold flat, with the world outside covered in ice and snow beneath the creeping moonlight – At the Heart of Winter is sounding pretty great.
Despite having, by the standards of black metal, a pretty loud and powerful production, At the Heart of Winter still manages to capture a raw, icy feeling, sounding as chilling as it is muscular. The songs are fairly long, with plenty of movements and progression, all laced through with some excellent musicianship – Abbath’s guitar playing in particular is excellent, and it will be interesting to see how the new incarnation of the band without his presence fares. Hopefully they won’t tarnish the name of one of the most consistently enjoyable big names of the second wave.