Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism
With Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism Norwegian Black Metal band Immortal released their first full length upon an un-suspecting world. Many, including myself, include it on their best of list when it comes to early black metal. Immortal never were the innovators or experimenters of the scene, no, they created their own sound and then continued it to its natural progression.
With this cd they began their career in the scene, and it is a very good beginning. It is much slower than their later albums, which whip by at a breakneck speed, it even uses acoustic guitars at times. On this release I think they were attempting to make an album that sounded like Hammerheart-era Bathory turned into Darkthrone-esque black metal. For the most part they succeed, creating an atmospheric masterpiece of rough, though well recorded guitars and very good sounding drums with an over all reverb-y production, amounting to an interesting sound that is at times a lot like the slower moments of Bathory's Under the Sign of the Black Mark. However, Immortal create their own sound in the guitars, which are unlike any other black metal band that I know of. Combined with the Bathory like drums and Abbath's mid-range vocals, the sound is very original.
Altogether when listening to the cd, the entire feeling is pleasing, though there aren't any truly frightening moments, or times when it excites me as much as moments on Darkthrone's A Blaze in the Northern Sky, I think it still is an excellent cd, as it really has a feel to it that most newer black metal bands lack. It has that early black metal feel of some teenagers making music that is mystical, dark, cold, grim and original. The production is a lot better than you would think, which would remain pretty much the same for Immortal's albums, they always used good production instead of the rough sound of Darkthrone. Actually it reminds me of Samael's first album, Worship Him, as the guitars on both have a kind of strange sounding reverb, which makes them both stand out, and also blend in with the rest of the instruments, which is hard to explain, but listen to both and you'll know what I mean.
Immortal's riffs on here are such that they require to be listened to many times before you realize how excellent they are. The production, though clear, somehow obscures the sound, but if you listen you will realize that their riffs sound like no other black metal band. At times they seem to use inverted power chords, and octave power chords, both of which are used quite a bit by many indie noise bands, and not too often by metal bands in my experience. The guitars seem mostly used however, to create atmosphere, which is not odd in black metal, though the methods used by Immortal are interesting. However, I don't think this is quite as good as what I have heard of their second and third albums, Pure Holocaust and Battles in the North, as by then they had developed the individuality apparent on this album into something all together different. Again it should be noticed that on those albums they play at many many BPMs, many more than on this album. Perhaps the only band to play just as fast would be Marduk or, perhaps, Dark Funeral, both of whom seemed to base a great deal of their sound after Immortal, or at least Dark Funeral seemed to, as I believe Marduk started out around the same time as Immortal.
What we have here is some excellent early black metal, leaning on the well produced, more traditional metal sound, on which Immortal would base a strong career upon. This is essential for black metal fans though, and perhaps would appeal to people who aren't totally into the style as well, as it features a cleaner production than many early black metal bands.
2: The Call of the Winter Moon
3: Unholy Forces of Evil
4: Cryptic Winterstorms
5: Cold Winds of Funeral Dust
6: Blacker than Darkness
7: A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland