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Battles in the North

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (37 ratings)
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Battles in the North album cover
01
Battles in the North
4:11
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02
Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms
2:47
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03
Descent Into Eminent Silence
3:09
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04
Throned By Blackstorms
3:38
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05
Moonrise Fields of Sorrow
2:24
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Cursed Realms of the Winterdemons
3:59
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07
At the Stormy Gates of Mist
2:59
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08
Through the Halls of Eternity
3:35
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09
Circling Above in Time Before Time
3:56
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Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)
4:34
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 35:12

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Their heaviest album, but not their best

Tankard

Many claim this is the best Immortal album, but I have to disagree. I believe "Pure Holocaust" is the best from their early years, and "At the Heart of Winter" is the best overall. "Battles..." is the follow up to the incredible "Pure Holocaust," and features a very different sound. The production focuses a lot more on the drums and the lower end on "Battles...", while "Pure Holocaust" focuses more on the guitars. The vocals are also more "up in front" on "Battles" and are not faded into the background like they are on "Holocaust." I prefer the sound on "Pure Holocaust" because it sounds a lot colder and more atmospheric, which makes it sound like a truer black metal offering. "Battles" doesn't sound as frosty, but it does sound heavier. "Battles" also has a few production problems that are worth mentioning. Several of the songs cut off abruptly, leaving you to wonder if there is something wrong with the recording. Overall, a great album, but Immortal has done better.

They Say All Music Guide

Battles in the North, Immortal’s third razor-caked candy bar, is considered by many to be one of black metal’s defining moments. Like its highly regarded, slower, and slightly less-focused predecessor, Pure Holocaust, Battles in the North is a furious, somewhat under-produced, unrelenting assault of blastbeats, demon-reptile vocals, and buzzing guitars assembled for one reason only: to unleash the misbegotten souls of frozen Norwegian landscapes into glorious battle against all things remotely commercial or accessible, taking no prisoners. The result is ten blurry tracks of hyper-tempo blackness that somehow corral melody within a constant rhythmic pummel, especially on bona fide classic cuts “Circling Above in Time Before Time” and “Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark).” Never before had such anti-production benefited an album’s theme, the sometimes-indiscernible wash of guitars and blasting drums invoking visions of whiteout blizzards, with only vocalist Abbath Doom Occulta’s creepy croak — spewing startlingly effective and poetic English-as-a-second-language war imagery — able to permeate such dense instrumental storms. Oh, and the title track may just be the most devastating, skin-filleting shriek of black metal pain ever to emanate from Scandinavia’s wintry clime. Snicker at their frowny-faced corpse-paint makeup if you must, but Immortal is all business, all metal, all the time, and undeniably so; if a demented grin creeps across the listener’s face, it’s more from the realization that these painted Norwegians are truly off their rockers, hopelessly devoted to their unwavering creation. Battles in the North is an album that set Immortal apart from their black metal brethren, boasting a consistency of theme and an instrumental efficiency matched by few within the genre, never bowing to pretension (see Emperor’s keyboard-ridden classical influences) or pointlessly kowtowing to the ridiculous mores of the “true black metal” underground (see Darkthrone’s nigh-unlistenable, garage-tape-quality catalog). Immortal had invented their own frostbitten niche, devoting their mortal soul to metal, and after Battles in the North, Rovi – John Serba

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