I’m back with another edition of babbling about how I got into certain metal genres and what bands influenced me chronologically…..or at least how I remember it. I recall shows, albums and certain moments of said bands/artists and if you enjoy these monthly pieces then awesome! Maybe it brings back memories of how you got into certain bands and genres. This one won’t include as many editions, as I’m not the biggest black metal fan out there…..but the single band responsible for my introduction to this wild genre is Immortal, and specifically Abbath. And for the first article on black metal, it’s the one and only topic. I don’t need to provide music as they are a pretty well known band in the genre.
The talent, contributions and impact Immortal have had and still do on black metal is immeasurable. Abbath’s stage antics are equally as entertaining as the band’s music. Their live shows contain all kinds of random pyrotechnics and his famous “crab walk” and other entertaining dance moves. The fact he was with the band as a bassist from the beginning and switched to guitar and vocals once band found Demonaz went under with carpal tunnel is pretty impressive. Abbath left/was fired from the band in a huge dispute with ownership of the band name, cancelling or delaying practices/shows and a bunch of other accusations that were tossed around. Last year’s monster “Northern Chaos Gods” was an absolute monster and I gladly ate my crow being a huge Abbath fan. My big concern was shows and who they’ll get to play, also considering their long time bassist Apollyn left during this ordeal as well. Demonaz and Horgh didn’t do any shows in support of this album, and I personally don’t know how much of the guitar Demonaz recorded. Will they even play any shows again? Who knows, it remains to be seen. Meanwhile in Abbath camp he’s releasing his second solo album in 3 years next month and playing a good amount of shows in Europe and North America. Demonaz writes the bulk of the music, lyrics and also handles their grim themes. Abbath was the face and personality of the band, while Demonaz worked behind the scenes with him to craft their great albums. Those working relationships sometimes don’t pan out in the long run and now are operate as separate entities. Yet my boy is still playing some Immortal tracks at his shows.
One thing I’ve really admired is how they’ve stood out amongst a genre that can get boring and stale. They have added melody to a rather heavy, loud and noisy genre. There’s some cool guitar duals, transitions and melodic guitar leads that kept me entertained. “Sons Of Northern Darkness” was my first serious adventure into black metal in the mid 2000’s just before my first full Immortal experience with “All Shall Fall”. I tried with other bands like Gorgorth, and that relationship didn’t last long to be honest. Sure its heavy and grim, but couldn’t keep my attention for long. It was just kinda…..boring to say the least. I think Immortal are the kings of black metal, even with other greats such as Emperor and Dissection who have put out landmark records as well.
Abbath’s personality is just glowing. I love how he doesn’t take himself too seriously and has some of the wildest photos. They are possibly the most memed metal band especially the ridiculous videos the band has filmed. Sure he takes music seriously but you can’t mistake him for wanting to have some fun and enjoy himself as well. Guys like Abbath make metal appealing and fun, when a good amount of bands try to be so serious about the whole thing. Not everyone enjoyed his debut solo album, but I thought it was stellar. The couple tracks released from his upcoming album “Outstrider” may outdo that first album just based on those few songs. His voice is super unique and it isn’t really a growl per say. It’s heavily influenced by Lemmy Kilmister (no lie as he’s in a Motorhead tribute band when he’s not involved in his own band) with a slightly heavier register. I tried to go see the band with a bunch of friends at a show in Pittsburgh when they released “All Shall Fall”. It got bad enough to where we had to turn around and stay at a hotel because it was snowing hard enough. Worst part was we were pretty close to the venue, but made the most of the night and headed home the next day. He is actively playing shows and I know I’ll get to see Abbath one day sooner than later. He got me into the genre and is the only reason I knew about it, and even check in with some new bands from time to time. Thank you for the great music you have given us, and surely will again with “Outstrider”.
Categories: Dave's Metal Journey