I - Between Two Worlds
Nuclear Blast
Viking Black Metal infused with some minor Death/Rock
8 songs (42:32)
Release year: 2006
I, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jeff
Album of the month

If I had listened to this promo without first knowing 1) the name of the band, 2) the members who were involved in the project or 3) any other kind of history that would lead me to have pre-conceived notions and judgments regarding the music, I could still easily recognize two dominating traits that are heard on this album; traits that have a stamp and identity of their own and that have been "immortalized" on CD many times before.

The band I'm talking about is I. The two dominating traits I was describing are the reptilian, icy cold vocals and buzzing rhythm guitar playing of none other than Immortal's Abbath. It was Abbath who formed I. I denotes the Roman numeral “One,” which best describes the debut album "Between Two Worlds" as the first of its kind in the new genre of rock-infused black metal. The rest of the members involved in the project are Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal (Enslaved), ex-Gorgoroth bassist Tom Visnes (T.C. King) and ex-Immortal drummer Armagedda. Lyrical penmanship was provided courtesy of ex-Immortal member Demonaz. The production was handled by Peter Tagtgren and a fine job he has done!

When I first listened to "Between Two Worlds", I couldn't help but right away notice a style and sound almost identical to that heard on the past three Immortal albums. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that "Between Two Worlds" could have easily been the follow up to Immortal's masterpiece "Sons of Northern Darkness". I don't think it's a bad thing at all to compare the two. Most Immortal fans were devastated when they learned of the bands break up back in 2003. On a positive note, there has been alot of talk about an Immortal reunion, so only time will tell as to how that pans out.

In the meantime, we have "Between Two Worlds" to hold us over. It's a solid release from start to finish. The music is filled with classic riffs, monumental choruses and epic arrangements that are very reminiscent of past Immortal albums like "Sons of Northern Darkness", "Damned In Black" and "At The Heart of Winter". The hatred and heaviness of Black Metal are fused with some death n' roll guitar riffs and snarls. The death n' roll influence is most notable in songs like “The Storm I Ride” and "Cursed We Are". The guitar riff in “The Storm I Ride” was influenced by the KISS classic, "Ladies In Waiting". "Cursed We Are" is an upbeat, Motorhead like track with double bass drums and a rocking guitar solo. The rest of the album was inspired and strongly influenced by the late great Quorthon of Bathory. At times, Abbath even sounds like Quorthon. In fact, lyricist Demonaz tried to write in the style of Quorthon. The track, “Far Beyond The Quiet”, is a slow, pounding song that pays tribute to the fallen Viking. "Battalions" is a fast paced track with pummeling, double bass drums and stabbing guitar riffing that will pile drive into your brain!

After listening to "Between Two Worlds" several times, I find myself wanting more. My only disappointment is that there are only eight tracks total. Then again, Abbath only gave us eight tracks on "Sons of Northern Darkness", seven on "Damned In Black" and six on "At The Heart of Winter".

I strongly recommend I's "Between Two Worlds" to anyone that is a fan of black metal or any of the past three Immortal releases. I could even go as far a saying this will be somewhere in my top 10 of 2006. Really. And don't let the rock infused/death n' roll descriptions deter you from getting this. It's very minor. It's not used in the way that another black metal outfit did on their latest release. Did someone say, Satyricon? "Between Two Worlds" is predominantly Norwegian Black/ Viking metal influenced. It will not disappoint!



Killing Songs :
Between Two Worlds, Warriors, Mountains, Battalions
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Jason quoted 90 / 100
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