I - _Between Two Worlds_
(Nuclear Blast, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
With Immortal's absence admittedly now being nothing more than an extended hiatus, it was nevertheless inevitable that frontman Abbath would at some point construct another musical vehicle through which to sing the praises of the stormwinds, blizzards and generally unpleasant weather in his native Norway. Thus while the shrieks have been replaced by a Kilmeister-like grunt, and the breakneck speed of _Battles in the North_ has given right of way to an altogether more rock 'n' roll tempo, the sentiment remains the same.Surprisingly, even if Abbath's new straight-laced vocal style sometimes grates and the lyrics often border on the absurd, _Between Two Worlds_ also makes for a compelling listen. There's the anthemic "The Storm I Ride", and the rollicking title track -- the lead riff of which you'll likely find yourself whistling under your breath well into the new year. But it's when Abbath's fondness for the bleaker end of the musical spectrum inevitably rears it head on the latter half of the album that things become truly enjoyable: "Far Beyond the Quiet" and "Cursed We Are" in particular scoring big points for evoking an atmosphere that isn't altogether different from the more pensive moments on _Sons of Northern Darkness_.Some will likely deride this as being merely a poor man's Immortal, and that may be true; but at its worst _Between Two Worlds_ makes for a pleasant stopgap while we brace ourselves for the next addition to the Norsemen's discography.
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