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At The Heart Of Winter

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At The Heart Of Winter album cover
Withstand The Fall Of Time
Tragedies Blows At Horizon
Where Dark And Light Don't Differ
At The Heart Of Winter
Years Of Silent Sorrow
Album Information

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 46:04

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essential immortal


This, along with Sons of Northern Darkness, are their best albums, in my opinion.

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Immortal's best album


I never thought Immortal would be able to top "Pure Holocaust," but I stand corrected. "At The Heart of Winter" is quite possibly the best black metal album of all time. With this release, Immortal reached a musical level of maturity that set them apart from the rest of the Norwegian black metal bands of the time. Many of the songs on this album are fan favorites, such as "Withstand the Fall of Time," "Solarfall," "Tragedies Blow at Horizon," and the title track. There is not one weak song on here. "At the Heart of Winter" is not as fast as their first 4 albums, but the songs here are more focused and more powerful than anything they had done before. If you need some convincing about how amazing this album is, download "Withstand the Fall of Time," one of Immortal's best songs ever. Many people believe that "Sons of Northern Darkness" is better, and although that album is awesome, it can't match the consistency and atmosphere that "At the Heart of Winter" contains.

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They Say All Music Guide

At the Heart of Winter marks the beginning of Immortal’s second incarnation, paring the band down to the duo of Abbath Doom Occulta and Horgh after the departure of guitarist and founding member Demonaz Doom Occulta due to severe tendonitis in his arms. Thus, Abbath alone took over six-string and songwriting duties (although Demonaz still contributed his trademark fantastical war- and winter-themed lyrics), and Immortal progressed beyond their blurry, hyperspeed, under-produced past into muscular metal maturity, melding frostbitten Norwegian black metal with the intricate riffing and tempo changes of German thrash. Which isn’t to say the group abandoned blastbeats or Abbath’s throaty reptilian croak; within the lengthy, creatively arranged epics “Withstand the Fall of Time,” “Years of Silent Sorrow,” and “Tragedies Blows at Horizon” lies a balance of battle-ready blitzkrieg and grandiose, anthemic melodies only hinted at in Immortal’s previous output (see “Mountains of Might” on the preceding album, Blizzard Beasts). The material lends breathing room to the drums, with skin-pounder Horgh adding to the album’s majestic feel with a diverse, organic performance. At the Heart of Winter also found Immortal forging their relationship with head Hypocrisy honcho/producer Peter Tagtgren and his Abyss Studios, which gives the album a thick, weighty mix that complements the group’s inspired songwriting. The result is a clarity and focus that few purveyors of the genre succeeded at finding, a painstakingly organized assemblage of black metal’s base elements into a disciplined purity of metal that prefers the power of the almighty riff instead of the occasionally overblown classical structuring of much-lauded stalwarts Emperor and Cradle of Filth or the strange experimentation that Mayhem and Arcturus would undertake. At the Heart of Winter should sway even black metal naysayers into the Immortal camp, provided they can look past the bandmembers’ gimmicky face paint and silly posturing in the CD booklet photos and embrace the majestic metal within. – John Serba

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