You know Abbath means business when he uses his stage-name directly as the name of his new band as well as the title of their new album and to use his fierce corpse-paint ridden face adorn the album cover. And, hell, he sure does not waste any time to reminding the old listeners of Immortal and new unsuspecting listeners what he’s capable of musically.
From the first track of “To War!”, one is immediately transported back to realms of cold relentless beautiful brutality. The momentum does not let up, with “Winterbane”, “Oceans of Wounds”, “Count The Dead” and “Root of The Mountain” fast becoming my personal favourites. Especially with “Winterbane”, I found myself headbanging on the first listen – it really reminded me of how I felt listening to Immortal’s “At the Heart of Winter”, which is highly pleasant. Scattered throughout the album are sweet and succinct reminders of the sweeping soundscape found in Immortal’s “Damned in Black” and “Sons of Northern Darkness”, even bits of I’s 2006 endeavour. This is extremely pleasing for me since I’m a huge Immortal listener.
When Immortal was no longer, I admit getting negatively affected. When I listened to this massive album, I admit that Immortal has only changed its incarnation – to Abbath. Hails to Abbath!