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I : Between Two Worlds

Who would have thought a project between current and former members of Immortal, Enslaved, and Gorgorath would sound anything like Between Two Worlds? The coming together of Abbath (guitar/vocals), Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal (guitars), Tom "T.C. King" Visnes (bass) and Armagedda (drums), along with lyricsit Demonaz, under the moniker of I, sounds more like vintage Motorhead mixed with a little WASP and black metal for good measure. The black metal vibe happens thanks to the chilling vocals of Abbath, who changes his deathly vocal attack not one bit here, so fans of Immortal will totally dig what he does here, especially on the pummeling and evil sounding"Warriors". On this one, the straightforward yet punishing guitar riffs of Ice Dale allow for Abbath to unleash his sinister vocals. It's not quite black metal, but it's oh so dark and heavy. "The Storm I Ride" combines KISS and Motorhead typed riffs over furious rhythms, and the title track and "Battalions" gallop along at a pace that is very similar to songs from the last two Immortal albums, again with frantic guitar riffs and aggressive rhythms. Heavy riffs and tremelo picked harmonies permeate the cold and blustery sounds of "Mountains", an epic sounding piece again with Abbath in command of the ghostly terrain with the rest of the band settling in with some super heavy yet melodic sounds. Ice Dale, as he does on numerous occasions throughout the album, throws in some tasty leads and fills on this one, although fans of Enslaved should be well aware of the guitar talent this guy has. "Days of North Winds" is a mid-paced rocker led by catchy riffs and Abbath's cagey snarls, and "Far Beyond the Quiet" mixes 80's metal sounds (Ozzy's Bark at the Moon perhaps) with epic, almost prog-like symphonics, and the band shifts back to Motorhead meets Immortal styled black/speed metal on the juggernaut "Cursed We Are" complete with plenty of manic drum blasts from Armagedda and speed of light guitar riffs.

Fans who have dug the recent, more groove oriented black metal fromSatyricon will be overjoyed with Between Two Worlds, and quite frankly the music here is not so far removed from the last few Immortal albums. There is still a wealth of black metal going on here, just infused with some 80's rock, speed metal, and plenty of groove. Essential listening, and one of the years biggest surprises.

Track Listing
1) The Storm I Ride
2) Warriors
3) Between Two Worlds
4) Battalions
5) Mountains
6) Days of North Winds
7) Far Beyond the Quiet
8) Cursed We Are

Added: December 4th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 8274
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

I : Between Two Worlds
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-04 17:45:11
My Score:

I will be one of the first to admit that when I hear something is a side project devised of the guys in other popular Metal bands that most of the time I am less than excited about it. The reason because of this is primarily due to the end result not being all too interesting. Yet when you find one is built up of personnel such as Abbath and Armagedda (Immortal), TC King (Gorgoroth), and Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal (Enslaved) it truly bears more than a casual investigation. These musicians are members of the Black Metal Illuminati and their existing work is a testimony to their skills in matters Dark. However, instead of a blistering display of Black Metal with this project the listener is treated to more of a Dark Hard Rock that falls along the line of Motorhead and perhaps even a little bit of Chrome Division (the side project of Dimmu Borgir's Shagrath). There are times when the record holds an Immortal feel, but just done at a slower pace than they are known for and also has this topped off with a twist of recent Enslaved. In the end this is just an excellent listening experience. I never expected a more Classic Rock vibe based on the membership origins but it just stands as credit to these members skills and abilities to craft such a unique project. The albums opener "Storm I Ride" is a thunderous track that will have your attention as they offer tribute to old KISS in the feel and vibe bringing to mind some eighties W.A.S.P. as well. We find Abbath offering the high hails and horns to the fallen member of Bathory during "Far Beyond The Quiet". It is through this track that he feels the spirit of genius offered to Metal by Quorthon is able to live on further in memory. There are also several moments which harken to Abbath's Viking heritage such as in the song "Warriors" while on others he offers thoughts of his Norwegian home such as he does on "Mountains". It's definitely quite a bit darker than the Chrome Division stuff, but the influx of Rock into the Black Metal is a great new twist to the genre. I feel it raises both the possibilities of new music and its success at generating a larger fan base than it could have done in its original form. Between Two Worlds seems to be much more than a mere album title and instead a herald of the way things can become from this brand of music. The downside is for you if you expected Extreme Metal yet if you liked the sound of this then you are also recommended to look into the new Satryicon and Enslaved. Each of those releases changes the perception of the accepted norm in Black Metal by using a number of different elements as well.

I found one main disappointment on the whole release and that is that there are only eight songs. I am willing to wager you will feel the same way after you listen and become enraptured in this grim but oh so alluring new brand of Metal. "I" is a name that stands tall, shows strength and is sure to become one of the new super powers in the genre we support.

» Reader Comments:

I : Between Two Worlds
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2006-12-05 18:38:30
My Score:

I purchased the limited edition digi-pack from CM Distro as it has a total of 11 songs. One of which is not titled on the back of the cd and is instrumental in nature. In fact, if you think Black Sabbath and Fluff you are going in the right direction... Just a nice triplet feel applied to the acoustic guitar. The other two: Bridges of Fire and Shadowed Realms have a similiar mid-paced groove with the latter being a little more up-tempo. The main issue with the cd is that the other "superstar" members did not have enough influence in the song-writing. It is evident from the chord voicings to the rhythms that Abbath ruled over most of the show. This lends a "samey" feel to many of the songs, but this is still a very good effort. Not as experimental as Enslaved; dark/fast as Gorgoroth and having considerably more girth than Satyricon, this is very epic and proud sounding. Cursed We Are, The Storm I Ride and the Bathory dedication: Far Beyond The Quiet are standout tracks and will find their way into your instant recall. The production is very clean and modern, but does not go to far in the way to over "embellish" the songs as the melodies do not need much aid. Comparisons to the others band/projects are inevitable, but not warranted as only the Immortal comparison is truly relevant. This is a good solid record that sets itself apart through a melodic approach that becomes more and more apparent as you listen to the recording. A little over-hyped, but certainly worth the cash!

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