339: ABBATH

If we are talking about larger-than-life black metal figures, few loom as large as Olve Eikemo, better known as Abbath. As the frontman for black metal pioneers Immortal for almost quarter of a century, Abbath had already established himself as a formidable force in the genre. So so when he left Immortal in 2015 and prepared to launch his eponymous new project, people watched with great interest.

With their debut, which also carried the name โ€˜Abbathโ€™, he used material heโ€™d worked on for the intended next Immortal album. So, with that in mind, itโ€™s no surprise what we got was a sort of spiritual successor to Immortal. It was an ice cold blast of black metal, and Abbathโ€™s raspy snarls are unmistakable.

But this material also carried its own sound, separated from Immortal in ways. This was more evident with the followup album, โ€˜Outstriderโ€™. Here we heard material that was specifically written for an Abbath album, and the true character of this project started to shine though. Itโ€™s more riff-driven, with more varied writing and structure.

Abbath, the man, is a black metal icon, a giant of the genre with huge history and undeniable influence. And Abbath, the band, is the means by which he continues to be a central figure.