In last 11 years, Immortal, from the Norwegian town Bergen, established themselves as one of the most important black metal bands in the world. The last original member Abbath (Doom Occulta) is one of the most charismatic frontmen in this genre, as their live shows are legendary.
The story of Immortal started back in 1991. Abbath (a former Old Funeral member) and Demonaz (ex-Amputation) decided to start a new band together to play cold and icy black metal. Skins, spikes and corpsepaint – that was their modus operandi. Musically they were influenced by Bathory, which you can hear on their first demo and the debut album Diabolic Fullmoon Mysticism (1992, Osmose Productions). This and the influence of Venom and Slayer was no secret to the fans.
Immortal was mainly Abbath (vocals, bass) and Demonaz (guitar) in the first couple of years. The drummer changed often (Armagedda, Eric, Hellhammer from Mayhem), and sometimes Abbath himself sat behind the kit, as on Pure Holocoust (1993) and Battles In the North (1995). The icy, frosty, fast and catchy sound and the fantasy lyrics about an icy place called Blashyrk established the band, and they had a lot of followers at this time. They were the most well known black metal band.
1995 saw their first big European tour, as special guest with Morbid Angel (Hellhammer from Mayhem played the drums). Their popularity grew and grew, but then Demonaz had to quit the band, because he had massive problems with some nerves in his hand. He wasn’t able to play guitar anymore. First Ares of the Norwegian band Aeternus helped Immortal out on bass while Abbath changed to guitar, but later on they found another permanent line-up which still exists today: Abbath (guitar, vocals), Horgh (drums) and Iscariah (bass). Demonaz is still is part of Immortal, because he still writes all the lyrics and is the manager of the band.
With this line-up they released two brilliant records: At the Heart of Winter and Damned in Black. Both records received incredible reviews worldwide. Also, magazines, which were not so friendly to the band in the past, gave them good support and reacted very euphoric. Damned In Black sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide, which is a fantastic number for an extreme band like Immortal, a band which always stayed true to themselves and never used keyboards or female vocals to get attention in the gothic scene.
Damned In Black was their last album for Osmose Productions, and they changed over to Nuclear Blast Records. In September 2001, they entered the famous Abyss Studios with Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) where they also recorded the last two albums. Sons of Northern Darkness is the next step to bringing the band into eternity.