Review by Adam M on January 26, 2016.
Abbath is back with his solo material and it’s a welcome sight. This album is loaded with the huge, icy riffs that Immortal is known for. In fact, these sometimes surpass the epic hugeness that was displayed by the previous act. The fast tremolo picking that was a signature of Immortal returns with its almost thrash-like undertones.
The guitar work on this album is quite a spectacle to behold and holds this album together like glue. It is also very intense and adds a degree of passion to the music that is very appropriate. There are numerous examples of the crushing riffs on display. The opener To War itself brings some huge riffs, but there are other examples as well. This maintains a consistency for the guitar riffs that is very welcome. No matter the track, there is always a catchy lick to back it up in effective fashion. The gap has thus been filled for an Immortal style album. This album is great, but does lack in the originality department. The riffs sound much like the previous Immortal material despite being particularly well performed. Still, the layoff from having a similar album makes up for this small flaw in spades. It’s simply nice to have this frostbitten type of music again and it is done to near perfection.
There is so much power and drive in this music that it will appeal to practically any metal fan. The emotional intensity is important as well. The riffs drip with passion and this is key to establishing the backbone of the Abbath’s solo outfit. They are tight and precise and could only use more variation in the future. Still, the Abbath solo effort is a high quality attempt at black metal that has a very strong lineage in its rear view mirror.
Rating: 8 out of 10