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Immortal | Damned In Black | review | metal | Lollipop


Damned In Black (Osmose)
by Paul Lee

A decade of being just one recognizing horned hail-sign below the top tier of blackness, Immortal have quietly built a reputation as perhaps the best classic black metal band combining legitimate, hard-fought old school grimness with modern production and attention to detail. Demonaz, due to an arm injury, has been relegated to lyrics, while new bassist Iscariah has tightened things considerably, pummeling precisely with drummer Horgh and founding member Abbath. The resulting chemistry is sharp, vibrant, creative, the band mixing up styles within a crisp clarity that captures their traditional, though down-speed, blackness perfectly. But it's actually the back half of the album which excels. "The Darkness That Embraces Me" is melodic jaggedness on par with the likes of Satyricon, while "In Our Mystic Visions Blest" is like complex, majestic Emperor. But the crowning glory is the closing title track, which builds like that opener on the new In Flames, into a marching piece of mid-paced metal mayhem that strikes like a viper at black metal's potential to strangle regular metal in its image.
(4470 Sunset Blvd. #6 Los Angeles, CA 90027)

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