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Immortal - Diabolical Full Moon Mysticism
Review: Immortal unveiled the core of nascent black metal in this debut offering of dark, romantic, and epic songs which despite their amateur nature communicate an intensity of mood and awareness that few rock or even metal bands can match. Combining the syncopated elements of early death metal, the vastly differentiated structures and themes of the previous era's hobbit rock, and the simple rhythmic insurgency of hardcore music and simple black metal, these Norwegians create a massive depth of intricacy with a matching mythology.
The rock n roll basis for these songs' construction follows the familiar bass-snare patterns but layers over them simple chordal riffs with harmonic intensity through sublimated melody. Although simple and often standard these progressions overlaid produce compositional pieces which are ably manipulated to create ambitious and spanning structures, narrative in their variation yet thematic centeredness. In the background a highhat ticks off the instants in each sample, under a roaring wash of distortion that is both representative and obscure, bringing out the tonal elements of the music in an ambient fuzz of resonance tones. Bass lopes behind, slow but pointed deliberate root notes underscoring the dominant rhythms of each riff.
Further rhythm comes from the vocals, a blowing monotone that flares around the points of percussive emphasis in riff and rhythm, driving intensity higher. There are few solos per se but compositional lead guitar occasionally provides another layer of harmony. The structural innovations of this album place it in a new sub-genre of thought but its riff composition clearly differentiates it from all visible elements, including older styles of black metal and the darker, more rhythmically undulating and ambient death metal bands.
Whatever comprises this amalgamation the finished product does not betray, coming from a synthesis of styles but a new direction artistically, choosing the dark aesthetic as instead of fright resonance and emotional intensity, both invoking the romantic eras of former ages and the cyberpunk futurism of dystopia in its philosophy and lyric. This conception powers the rest of this creation, deriving a style from the convergence of needs of expression. At its boundaries the juvenilia strain reveals a simple underpinning, but in its core this music is one of the genetic ancestors of black metal as a mode of thought.