1990: Founded by Abbath (bass and vocals) and Demonaz (guitar). Earlier the band went under the name “Amputation”. The brilliant concept of this band was all based upon Blashyrkh, the name of all the sacred places Demonaz and Abbath found when walking in the wilderness surrounding their homes in Os. Blashyrkh is a fictional realm of demons, grim nature and northern blizzards. The line-up also contained two other members as well: Armagedda (drums) and Jørn (guitar). Musically and visually inspiration sources were bands such as: Bathory, Celtic Frost and Venom.
1991: Their first demo “Suffocate” was released early ’91 and later that year followed up by their second effort, “The Northern Upins Death”. A short time after this release Jørn got kicked out. Later the band was approached by the French label “Listenable Records” as they were impressed by their latest demo. They got the opportunity to do a 7" single and started to create songs like “Unholy Forces of Evil” and “Cold Winds of Funeral Frost” which later would appear on their debut album as the song “Cold Winds of Funeral Dust”. The 7" was recorded and released during the winter 91-92. They also had some very special photo sessions that winter.
1992: Another label that early shown interest for Immortal was Osmose Productions, also French. Immortal signed a two record deal with them and headed for Grieghallen Studios in Bergen to record their first full length. Originally it was going to be called “Battles in the North” but they changed it to “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” as that fitted the music better. DFM is a very atmospheric album with several acoustic guitar parts. You can definitely hear the Bathory influence. All in all DFM mad a foundation for Immortal. Later this year Armagedda was asked to leave. He was a skilful drummer, but he didn’t follow them mentally. His replacement was this guy named Kolgrim. He was a big failure as a drummer in the band and was fired after 6 months due to laziness.
1993: As they didn’t have any drummer at the time Abbath did the skin beating himself on their second album “Pure Holocaust”. During the mixing a new drummer, Erik came in to the band. He participated on the cover photo but he didn’t play on the album. After the release Immortal got a lot of attention for their controversial choice of title and the fact that they claimed to play “holocaust metal” (their own style) and not black metal. This holocaust thing does of course not have anything to do with Nazism and today they have totally abandoned that term and prefer no label at all. However this was not the only reason they got much attention, because their new album was a true masterpiece of black metal or “holocaust metal”.
1994: September: New material was written and again Immortal went for Grieghallen Studios and again Abbath had to take care of the drums. Their former drummer, Erik was fired one month earlier because Abbath and Demonaz wanted to move on, and Erik didn’t have the right mentality or skills in order to follow them. Anyway, the album was recorded with Abbath behind the drum kit. The title was “Battles in the North”.
1995: Great Immortal year. Their popularity grew and grew and after the release of “Battles in the North” they went on their first big European tour as a special guest with Morbid Angel. Hellhammer from Mayhem agreed to join in as a session drummer for Immortal on this tour. He also played on “Masters Of Nebulah Frost”, the first official video of Immortal. The two songs on the video was “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms” and “Blashyrkh (mighty ravendark)”. The last-mentioned was actually recorded in the free nature on one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen! It’s not a very professional video, but it’s very cool.
1996: For six years Immortal had problems finding a suitable drummer, but at spring time ‘96 Horgh took contact with Abbath and Demonaz. Horgh was known to be a talented drummer, so they arranged a meeting with him. After seeing Horgh in action, both Abbath and Demonaz knew he was the right drummer for Immortal. It took them six years to find him. Three months later Immortal entered Sigma Studios to record the next full length. Now as a full band. The reason for the studio switch was that they wanted to work on the sound, the band wanted to bring forward Demonaz’ Leads. Sigma has also better equipment and circumstances for recordings.
1997: In February “Blizzard Beasts” was released. It turned out to be a quite different album compared to the previous ones. Later this year Demonaz got problems with his arms. He couldn’t even wash his hair. This was the worst thing that could happen to Immortal as they were just that ready for a tour. They waited, waited and waited even more. Nothing happened. After a few months they got a message from Osmose who said that they had to do a tour now. They sat down and discussed the matter with Demonaz and unfortunately he had to give up. Abbath took over the guitar playing. There’re of course many skilled guitarists around, but then there was that matter of style. It was easier for Abbath to switch to the guitars.
1998: Now they were back in business, with Ares from Aeternus as session bass player. They finally went touring again and Demonaz did all the management, like selling stuff and made sure they got their money, while the band could focus on the artistic side of Immortal. Ares was asked to become a full time member of Immortal, but chose to concentrate on his main band Aeternus. In November their new album “At the Heart of Winter” was recorded, this time in Peter Tägtgren’s Abyss Studios. Actually Peter contacted Osmose and said he really wanted to produce Immortal’s next album and that was ok to both Immortal and Osmose. In addition to this the song “To Walk The Infernal Fields” was recorded for a Darkthrone tribute album on Moonfog Productions.
1999: “At the Heart of Winter” is released in march and it marks the start of a new era for Immortal. Many things have changed: The music to a certain point, the way the music is created, new logo and this time they used fantasy art on the front cover instead of the traditional band photo. But in all these changes they still have stayed faithful to their roots. Before they went touring Iscariah came in filling the vacant bass spot. Immortal is a productive and new songs were already written in October when they again went to Abyss Studios to start the recording of their next opus, entitled “Damned in Black”. They finished the drums, bass and guitar, only leaving vocals and guitar solos for recording…
2000: …in February. “Damned in Black” is a more brutal album than the previous and they have this time taken their style to an even higher and more out breaking level than their predecessors. This was Immortal’s last album on their contract with Osmose. After a 9-year cooperation, the band signed a worldwide one album record deal with the Germans from Nuclear Blast. Immortal also celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. A special box with a live cd, photos never published before and many other rare things were supposed to be released, but I haven’t seen it yet, so it’s most probably canceled.
2001: Immortal was Alarm-nominated for their last album “Damned in Black”. They was nominated in the class “best metal album 2000” and they won! A tribute to Mayhem was released this year by Avantgarde and Immortal participated with the song “From the Dark Past”. In September they recorded “Sons of Northern Darkness” and the collaboration with Peter Tägtgren is great as he is really into Immortal’s music now. The sound is greater than ever, especially the guitar sound.
2002: Their debut album on Nuclear Blast, “Sons of Northern Darkness” was released in February and the anticipation was enormous. However I don’t think Immortal let anybody down, because the album is killer and Nuclear Blast expect to sell 150 000 copy’s worldwide. That’s a reasonable goal when you know “Damned in Black” sold over 100 000 copy’s on Osmose! Few months after the release, Iscariah decides to leave the band. His replacement was a Swede named Saroth, he also plays live for Peter Tägtgren’s PAIN together with Horgh. That’s how they got in contact with him. He is a big fan of Immortal and is totally dedicated to the music according to Abbath.
2003: Again Immortal was Alarm-nominated, this time for “Sons of Northern Darkness”. In addition they were also “Spellemannsprisen” (Norwegian Grammy) nominated. They lost both awards to Satyricon for their “Volcano” album. On July 18th Immortal officially announced that the band had split up.
bio c/o Metal Storm
Immortal - Pure Holocaust 1993 01. Unsilent Storms In The North Abyss 02. A Sign For The Norse Hordes To Ride 03. The Sun No Longer Rises 04. Fro...
Tracklist: 1. Battles In The North 2. At The Stormy Gates Of Mist 3. Through The Halls Of Eternity 4. Moonrise Fields Of Sorrow 5. ...