Things You Might Have Missed 2010: Byfrost – Black Earth

Ahhh, my Immortal. Yeah, I love Immortal and I’m not afraid to admit it. Be it old Immortal, new Immortal, I love it all! I’m plenty keen on Abbath’s solo project I as well. Since Immortal and I can only record so much material and I always want more, I was happily surprised by the debut full length Black Earth from Norway’s own Byfrost (available on Painkiller Records). Hailing from the very same town as the mighty Immortal, Byfrost plays a style of blackened thrash so remarkably similar, that fans of the frigid ones can’t help but smile and thrash along. The vocal style of Heavy Harms (winning name) is nearly identical to that of Abbath and the overall song structures and riffing stylesÂwill remind you of Immortal and I equally.

Tracks like “Black Earth” and “Night of Damnation” are top-notch blackened thrash tunes and so Immortal-esque in style and sound that it’s almost like a tribute band. Massive copycatism aside, all the tracks on Black Earth are intense, well performed, heavy and energetic. This is an extremely solid black/thrash album any way you slice it and even the great Ice Dale of Enslaved shows up to lend his guitar to “Desire.” Also of note is a stellar production that really helps the material hit home like a blockbuster bomb.

Is it original? Fuck no, but it’s so extremely well done and such pure headbanging fun from start to finish that you just won’t care. This is definitely one of the top thrash albums of the year and should be heard. If you simply can’t get enough Immortal in your life, you must listen to Byfrost. Did I mention it sounds a lot like Immortal?!

Highlight: “Horns to the Sky,” “Black Earth” and “Night of Damnation”

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