Rimfrost - RimfrostLast year I bathed in the I nostalgia of Havukruunu‘s Havulinnaan, expressing my undying love for the style and my childish impatience for the newest Abbath. Now with Abbath among us, most of my week is spent fully engrossed in these two albums; each displaying their own unique interpretations (and continuations) of Between Two Worlds. However, even after all these releases, an itch still exists for that pure Immortal sound I’ve been without for years (I know, I’m incorrigible). Because the chances of getting another release worth a damn from Immortal are about as likely as my Writer o’ the Year award, I have no other choice but to look elsewhere for my Immortal Thirst Quencher.1 But where can I find that iciness that somehow defines Immortal but no one else? From whence shall I procure melodic black metal that taps into my heart and freezes my veins into blood Popsicles? Residing in neighboring Sweden, there does exist a purveyor of this frosty, Norwegian style. It’s a band that takes all of the greatest moments of Abbath’s three projects and packs them so tightly into albums, their lids refuse to seal. That band is Rimfrost, and Rimfrost plays Immortal metal.

Debuting in 2006, A Frozen World Unknown is one of the best Immortal albums ever released. This five-song, half-hour package is jam-packed full of Immortal aggression, Immortal atmosphere, and Immortal riffs. And when I mean riffs, I mean a shitload of riffs. Follow-up Veraldar Nagli would be equally impressive if it wasn’t for its length. After an hour of riffs-upon-riffs and chilling mood swings, the exclusion/editing of one or two tracks would have made it a masterpiece. So, when I found out that Rimfrost‘s 2016 self-titled release was also a lengthy one, I feared Veraldar Nagli, Part Two.2 But fear not, my friends. Rimfrost is one of the most consistent bands on the planet, ever-dedicated to keeping that Scandinavian sound fresh and alive. Rimfrost not only showcases the band’s consistency and maturity, but it also stands as the band’s best material yet.

Opener “As the Silver Curtain Closes” takes every emotion and riff Abbath, I, and Immortal have ever put to tape and clips, trims, and arranges all of it into one eight-minute long track. Its intensity and crunch merge perfectly with its icy demeanor (it’s midsection atmosphere and creepy spoken-word segment even bring to mind Immortal‘s “All Shall Fall”). But just when you think it is all over, the song takes an old-school, symphonic-black turn. This mix of emotion and skin-peeling heaviness is also the backdrop for tracks like “Ragnarök” and closer “Frostlaid Skies.” The latter is the perfect bookend to the opener, mimicking its attitude and power in every way. “Ragnarök,” on the other hand, is a sinister mix of signature Norwegian black metal, earthshaking bass work, and a military-esque, snare-tapping outro that serves double-duty as outro to the album.

Rimfrost 2016

Rimfrost, much like its predecessors, has an OCD-like inability to stick with the same riff for very long. Rimfrost‘s song lengths aren’t the result of pretentious, post-black atmospheres but, instead, are a necessity for housing all those goddamn riffs. But even with all the non-stop leads, long tracks like “Saga North” and “Dark Prophecies” fly by like they were only a couple minutes long. Where some bands tack on useless riffs, extending the song to unbearable lengths, each time change and thrashy transition gives the song more life than it had before. Even after nearly a dozen listens, every melodic interlude, every crushing breakdown, and every catchy guitar lead continues to satisfy my blackened heart to its very core.

Have I mentioned yet that the production is also fucking fantastic? There is so much bass presence and openness in the master that I forgot I was listening to an old-school, Scandinavian black metal record. The production and the top-notch performances even make the Gorgoroth-inspired “Cold” (perhaps the weakest track on the album) a worthwhile song; allowing it’s simplistic melodic-black atmospheres and Gaahl-like cleans to haunt your soul. Rimfrost may be the product of Immortal‘s legacy (some arguing that it is Immortal), but it stands on its own and breathes new life into this ancient giant. I know it’s only March, but I’m not afraid to say that Rimfrost has already secured a spot in my Records o’ the Year.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: Non Serviam 

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Trademarked by Abbath, he’ll have the guys back in court in no time.
  2. The Re-Nagling!

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  • But does this sound like Immortal at all?

    • According to the statistics, there’s a 13:8 chance it does.
      (Stats based on number of times band names are mentioned in the actual review, in a survey based on one predetermined souls opinions.)

  • Kapibarra

    I’ll have to see the vocalist’s skin pores up-close before I’m able to judge this album properly.

  • Simon Shrimpton

    Immortal will soon have more legacies than Charlemagne…

    Not that that’s a bad thing when they’re all so good!

  • Reese Burns

    That part about Immortal never releasing anything worth a damn ever again, we all knew, but I guess I just wasn’t ready to hear it. That really bummed me out.

  • Goldicot

    That is not an album cover. Please try again.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Error 404: Album cover not found. Replace with “bandlogolololol.jpeg”?

      |Yes| |No|

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        You’re a gem.

    • Throllv Väeshiin

      But it is

      • Bart the Repairman

        Moominvalley?

  • Bart the Repairman

    Niiice! (even some at-the-gatesy melodeath pops around 3:40). If Immortal sounds like this, I’ll have to finally give them a chance. Where to start?
    P.S.
    Many years ago i saw their “Call of the Wintermoon” clip on Youtube, but it was speeded up and the sound was switched to Benny Hill theme. That was my first and last contact with Immortal. Don’t blame me.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      That is amazing…

      I personally enjoy Pure Holocaust, At the Heart of Winter, and Sons of Northern Darkness (this is also chronological and spread-out from early-to-mid-to-later career).

    • What? You don’t enjoy the Benny Hill theme?
      If you’re “trve”, try on the first albums for size, especially the cvlt songs Call of the Wintermoon and Unholy Forces of Evil (the chorus alone…!) from the debut Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism (1992) and The Sun No Longer Rises from Pure Holocaust (1993). Or perhaps the classic Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark) from Battles In The North (1995).
      If you’re leaning a bit more toward melodic bm, give At the Heart of Winter a spin. Especially the title track.

      • Bart the Repairman

        Benny Hill theme was the best part of it. I have a problem with clowns in wizard’s robes running through the forest and making evil faces. It throwed me away so much, that I didn’t care what they actually play (my bad, I’m a visual guy).
        But recently I’ve listened to the Abbath’s solo record and I’m sold. So, it’s time to break prejudices. Thanks for recommendations, guys.

        • Hahaha :) Yupp, that good old “gnomes in the forest” video still looks as cheesy as it always did. Best avoid them video, and rather just check out the music.

  • strychnin

    This is good! Somehow it revoked both Istapp and Discworld :)

  • TminusEight

    About five seconds into the linked track and the smile on my face says I’m with you all the way on the production. So good.

  • Ein Sophistry

    This is a LOT better than the album “art” led me to expect. Books & covers, etc., etc.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      True. When I loaded up the album cover, I almost accidently loaded up the pic of their logo the sent along with the promo. The difference between the two? White letters on black background versus black letters on white background…

  • Christian P

    Fack…..those riffs indeed.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    I am absolutely loving this. And having this right on the tale of Vredehammer? The riffs are so good. Fantastic review, Doc! While I wasn’t as big a fan of Abbath as Vredehammer, the stream of Immortal-esque releases is really tickling my fancy.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I appreciate it. Yeah, we have been overloaded with all the Abbathisms in the last couple months.

  • I was going to listen to this, but I could not stop listening to the new Amon Amarth….

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Oooh. Didn’t know about that. Will check out.

  • Meat Tornado

    Dr. mentions Immortal 13 times, and Abbath/I an additional 3 times which basically means mentioning Immortal 16 times. He only directly mentions the band being reviewed 5 times. Furthermore he spends more than half the review talking about Immortal. Great review, excellent journalism.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Not sure if there is sarcasm in that…

  • Dobbie03

    I have been wondering when these geezers might pop up again.

  • Noobhammer

    This be glorious, but I think we can all unanimously agree that one IMMORTAL thing is missing from this otherwise flawlessness….and that is the legendary Abbath Crab-Walk.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      This is true. That should have been the album cover.

  • Stephane Thirion

    This album is solid and Rimfrost brings something more than Immortal, consistency and less clownery than Abbath. I like Rimfrost since their first release and this album doesn’t disappoint me, the covert is not as “artistic” as it has been on the two previous record but what’s count is the music.

  • Luke_22

    Man I’m pretty selective with my black metal but that sample track really hits the spot. Nice review as well.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thank you, sir. Yeah, this album is a fun one.

  • brutal_sushi

    I am really REALLY loving this!

  • AngryMetalBird

    oh man… this blog costs me a fortune on bandcamp ‘:-)

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Went looking for their debut. Spotify? No. Bandcamp? No. iTunes? No. Finally found it on Youtube, but would be nice to purchase because, Land Sakes, those riffs!

    BTW, the new one is currently streaming at Invisible Oranges: http://www.invisibleoranges[DOT COM]/rimfrost-rimfrost-album-premiere/

  • Tom Hardy

    Nice review Doc, made me want to check the embedded track and that’s when my expectation was crumbled like the thought of a Batman vs Superman movie was exciting and after watching the first teaser it looked like dog sugarhoneyicetea. Maybe it’s just the embedded track but those first 2 and a half minutes were boring before things picked up a bit and fell back to the original riff that was playing the whole entire song pretty much.

    Doc, the review doesn’t touch on the embedded song, so is it safe to presume it’s one of the albums weaker songs?

    • Diego Molero

      I get that you’re an actor and all, but why you always have to compare everything with a movie? Just asking.
      Btw, what’s wrong with Batman vs Superman? Ben Affleck sucks, but still I’m exited about the movie.

      • Tom Hardy

        Depends on the situation Diego. When I’m reading a script or on set my mind’s wired into that and I’m constantly talking, thinking movies or things on the telly. Yesterday I was sipping some coffee and thought I’d use that to discuss Polish DM of old. The past weekend I was at the races and talked about engines and car manufacturers to put across my thought. Fair enough mate?

        I will enjoy the action if it mirrors the kind in Man Of Steel but the plot, characters, script (the meat) sound dismal. I will watch it in time, only to see the fight fleshed out on screen.

        • Diego Molero

          I guess that makes sense, so yeah, fair enough.

          I personally think that Man Of Steel was really boring. To be honest I don’t know much about the plot of BvS, but still I think is a must watch for superheroes movie fans

          • Tom Hardy

            The best parts were those fast action bits in the end with Supes, Faora, the big guy and Zod. Outside of that, there wasn’t a lot of meat init.

          • Diego Molero

            I don’t even know what you talkin’ about, I believe at that point I was already sleep…

        • Bart the Repairman

          Can’t wait to know parallels between coffee and polish DM.

          • Tom Hardy

            SupercalifragilisticHorrifiedreviewdiscussionocious.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Thank you, sir. This track is good but not the best. I wish I could have found the opener to embed but no dice. It does get a LOT better from here.

      • Tom Hardy

        Righto. I’ll move forward with checking out the rest of it in time then. Thanks.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          No problem. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    • SegaGenitals

      Hey there Negative Nancy, not sure I have ever seen you post a positive comment about anything… What kind of music DO you like? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Tom Hardy

        A lot actually, whatever really appeals to me and even with the kind of money I make, I find it’s often hard to keep up with purchasing the albums I like and quite so often I find myself in a situation where I’m late on the pickup and a certain color on vinyl gets out of stock. Hmmm … outside of country, dubstep, melodic death metal and power metal, I listen to everything new, old and in between. Sorry if I sound too harsh, I’m usually picky. If you head over to the comments section on 2015’s list on this site you’d see what I dug last year. Does that help?

  • Kalsten

    I am not a great black metal fan, but this one seems quite attractive. It doesn’t sound as if the whole band is playing in a giant toilet, at least. This one sounds like a real engineer has recorded the album.

    • Wilhelm

      But that’s the problem, to my ears it’s quite nice sounding – I’ll give it a pass, because the music is good but a colder, less polished, reverb laden sound would have brought out the darkness more.

  • SegaGenitals

    I dig it. SOLID production. Should tide my leprous heart over until new Moonsorrow drops… Anyone else love to blast black metal, melodic or otherwise, when spring arrives and it’s all sunny and shit?

  • WalrusKing

    Is this black metal or thrash metal? Oh wait I don’t give a shit! ?????

  • Eli Valcik

    Fuck this is good

  • Eli Valcik

    Hordes of Rime from A Frozen World Unknown is such a good fucking song.