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I - Between Two Worlds

Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: The Goat


The much anticipated album by Abbath, of Immortal fame, lives up to its reputation and hype. I had heard that "Between Two Worlds" was like Motorhead meeting with a bunch of Norwegian musicians or something. Abbath's vocals are extremely reminiscent of Lemmy's distinct croon.

 

Lyrically, the songs on "Between Two Worlds" are simple, yet ultimately powerful. There is a certain empowering quality to them. Now, usually, simple lyrics imply stupid buffoonery and the vapidness of teenage social angst. It is truly an art in getting the simplicity to carry a depth and complexity that borders on zen-like. Basically, you really need to use the right words. "Between Two Worlds" does this with an accomplished ease.

Musically, "Between Two Worlds" strikes the line of the riffier side of doom metal. While doom metal is more or less known for its melancholia musica, "Between Two Worlds" captures the majestic and bombastic form of power metal but the deeper, bass heavier older brother. Actually, the best way to describe the music is that it is quintessentially Viking metal. It is Norse metal for the working man. "Between Two Worlds" is Viking metal for the times when the Vikings were not pillaging their neighbors of their cattle and women.

The standout tracks are ‘Battalions’, ‘Days of the North Winds’, and ‘Cursed We Are’. They each have this incredible driving guitar rhythm that needs to be heard to be believed. There is an urgency to these songs. They have almost an 80s L. A. metal feel to them, except that they are so much heavier than any guitar tone of the L. A. pop metal scene. I dare you to listen to ‘Cursed We Are’ and not be reminded of Motley Crue (but without the cheese). What makes these songs so effective is the intensity of their attack and their deadly earnestness.

This is seriously one of the best releases to come along all year. It is far more accessible to the metalhead than much of Norway's other blacker exports. It goes to show were Abbath's spirit is and how truly metal he is. It is a commendable effort. I would also argue that this album is a demonstration that when black metal musicians step out of their genre, they can create some amazing stuff. It is an invigorating blast of some seriously good metal done well.

 
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