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When Abbath announced that he had left Immortal, it sent massive shock waves through the metal scene. The iconic frontman had long become the "face" of the Norwegian black scene, his image synonymous with this style. In 2016 the Norwegian giant returned with his new band Abbath and a crushing debut album of the same name. The opening triplet "To War," "Winterbane" and "Ashes of the Damned" unleashes all the fury of a Nordic blizzard at full force. Yet the following "Ocean of Wounds" proves that his new band was equally at home in writing anthemic mid-tempo hymns.
Abbath's characteristic riffing shines clearly through it all: heavy, harsh, and yet catchy and melodic with a touch of epic Bathory, Motorhead and even Kiss. At the same time there is no danger of repeating the formula of Immortal or the mastermind's other project under the moniker I, which was shared with King. The bass player from Bergen has again joined Abbath and brought his impressive songwriting skills to the battlefield. Gorgoroth, God Seed and OV Hell bear witness to King's exceptional talent as a composer, while contributions to Audrey Horne and Sahg demonstrate his wide stylistic range. The final keystone to Abbath lies in the outstanding drumming delivered by the mysterious Creature.
Abbath impresses from start to finish. This is exactly the album that all fans of this particular Bergen brand of black metal had been hoping for. Hold on tight or get blown away!