Let’s start with the drama that happened before this recording. Abbath and Demonaz found their new drummer Horgh and released Blizzard Beats, which didn’t fare as well as the group hoped. Well, the band regrouped to start working on this album when Demonaz suffered career-ending tendinitis. With the future of Immortal in doubt, the group forged ahead with Demonaz writing the lyrics, Horgh playing drums, and Abbath having to sing, play guitar, and play bass on the recording. The recording process was tedious and frustrating. All and all, Immortal needed to come out with that magnum opus just to stay sane…
… well, they did it, and this is that album.
You wouldn’t think of it due to the 6-track length, but the album is over 45 minutes long. I can’t single out a single track on this album as to which is more superior than the other because the album tells like a story. “Withstand the Fall of Time” is the perfect opening track because of how grandiose the opening of the song is; while “Years of Silent Sorrow” have the perfect ending because it brings down the house just like any live metal show. Remarkable riffs and some of the most intense drumming put to tape is all found here and everything that’s right about metal is demonstrated on this album. The only way it could be more metal is if it started rusting, but then you couldn’t listen to the CD so that’s probably a good thing.
I recommend this album to all metal fans and all fans of music. I also recommend getting the CD as opposed to Amazon/iTunes download because while these guys made one of the best metal albums ever, they also shot some of the most unintentionally hilarious promo photos ever too and those can be found in the liner notes!