Since Abbath’s announcement of his departure from iconic Norwegian black metal act Immortal devoted fans have been eagerly waiting for the release of a solo album. The self titled debut album seems to deliver the gelid black metal formula that fans have been hoping for.
“To War!” is an anthem of the Nordic force that fuels many traditional black metal stylistic elements. As expected, blasting drumming and tight riffing are at the center of a cold mix but it’s not just a matter of pure blazing fury since there is also a lot of space for a groovy rhythm and a lovely melodic guitar solo.
“Winter Bane” would be easily an immediate favorite with an extremely catchy guitar riff that shimmers throughout the song well supported by a super strong bass backbone. Abbath’s raspy vocals keep the mood as blackened as possible and blend effortlessly with the icy melodic features of the song.
“Count The Dead” kicks off with a majestic mid tempo rhythm that calls for wild headbanging and features another highly enjoyable melodic guitar solo. The guitar riffs have an epic classic metal vibe skillfully mixed with faster Nordic black metal drumming blasting without exaggerated aggression.
“Eternal” evokes the darkest wrath of Norwegian black metal and delivers a breathless fast rhythm that holds an overdose of crushing energy in every riff and growl but still keeps a melodic aura.
Overall, there are no major bursts of impressive creativity as the music themes are structured in traditional black metal fashion, nevertheless Abbath will always be a charismatic frontman and his latest effort shines for its catchy yet harsh songwriting style.