Immortal (1990-2003, 2006-present): a Black Metal band from Bergen, Norway.
orwegian black metal band Immortal has stuck strictly to their occult-inspired vision of the scene exclusively; the band members keeping the "Corpse Paint" makeup throughout the band's existence, rarely experimenting outside of the traditional guitars-drums-bass instrumental configuration, and never revealed their real names. Brothers in pseudonyms only, vocalist/bassist Abbath Doom Occulta (Real Name: Olve Eikemo; guitar/vocals) and guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta (Real Name: Harald Nævdal; guitar) along with Armagedda (drums) formed Immortal in Bergen, Norway, in 1990.
Abbath was originally a member of Old Funeral, a death metal garage band that also included Varg Vikernes, who would later gain notoriety not only for his project, Burzum, but more for murdering Mayhem guitarist Euronymous; Demonaz, for his part, had split from fellow Bergen scenesters Amputation. It is important to note, Immortal always willfully separated itself from Mayhem's oft-felonious black metal "inner circle" scene in Oslo, and downplayed its relationships with its members despite having contact with that cult's members. Inspired by the robust Norwegian forests and bitter cold climate, Abbath and Demonaz conceived the fictional, demon-and-battle-filled realm "Blashyrkh", a foundation upon which all of Immortal's lyrical journeys would rest.
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The early years were productive for the recordings came out yearly in the form of: Suffocate, Northern Upins Death, and Immortal 7'. They then made quick work of launching themselves onto the market with Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism in 1992 on the 'Osmose' label. They created a cult following over the successive releases of Pure Holocaust(1993), Battles In The North (1995) and Blizzard Beasts (1995); the former saw Armagedda leave with the latest seeing Horgh (Real Name: Reidar Horghagen) replace him.
It was after the 1997 album Blizzard Beasts was released that Immortal would be dealt its most serious blow. With an acute case of tendonitis in his arms, Demonaz could no longer play guitar with the speed and intensity Immortal required, and was forced to leave the band, although he remained the group's lyricist. Abbath switched from bass to guitar, and the group filled his bass slot with Aeturnus four-stringer Ares strictly for touring duties. Demonaz's absence left the band's songwriting burden purely on Abbath, who began penning more progressive, dynamic, and epic pieces. Abbath would perform all instruments except drums on 1999's highly acclaimed At The Heart Of Winter full-length, which marked the beginning of the band's relationship with producer Peter Tagtgren (singer/guitarist for Hypocrisy), who recorded At The Heart Of Winter and its two follow-up albums at his soon-to-be-legendary Abyss Studios. bassist Iscariah was then permanently added to the lineup, a line-up that released Damned In Black in 2000, and led to Immortal's first full-fledged North American tour with fellow Norwegians Satyricon. In 2001, the band, looking for better U.S distribution for its albums, severed its longtime relationship with 'Osmose' and signed to 'Nuclear Blast Records', which released Sons Of Northern Darkness in 2002 with Saroth (Real Name: Yngve Liljebäck) replacing Iscariah.
Also in 2000, the EP Immortal was repackaged as part of the True Kings of Norway compilation by 'Spikefarm Records'.
The band decided to split in the summer of 2003 for various personal reasons. In mid-October 2005, Abbath, Demonaz, and original drummer Armagedda reunited, and along with Gorgoroth bassist King ov Hell and Enslaved guitarist Ice Dale (Arve Isdal), they began work on a new project, dubbed I. This new band entered the studio at the end of April 2006 to record their debut album, Between Two Worlds, released in November 2006; in the release, Demonaz also was featured as lyricist for the band. In less than a year the group decided to resurrect Immortal with a new album, All Shall Fall arriving in 2009.
As of March 26, 2015, Immortal officially dissolved again as a result of a conflict between each other over who actually owned the rights to the band name. Soon later, the group reformed but without the services of Abbath who chose to continue as a musician with a solo band under his own name.
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This dynamic photo is Norwegian black metal band Immortal playing at 'Hole in the Sky' festival in Bergen, Norway. Photo by: Jarlehm (2011).
CC BY-SA 3.0