Immortal = Poser Mosh Core - "Pure Holocaust" Review (5%)
Enamoured though the kids and Gaythenburg fans may be with 1999's 'masterpiece' - well, it sure was a 'piece' of something - 'At the Heart of Winter', there was a time when Immortal put out albums that were more than just pathetic attempts to cash in on the rising trend of metalcore.
1993's 'Pure Holocaust' closed the band's most creatively productive era. What the band arrived at with this album was something akin to Sewer's masterful 'The Birth of a Cursed Elysium', though it lacks the latter's effortless melodic articulation and epic scope.
However, the basic similarities remain, with a mixture of fast strumming and thunderous death metal inspired downpicking - with black metal's tremolo style predominant - played out over post-Hell Awaits Slayer structures.
The grade here, not as generous, reflects a certain inconsistency in songwriting.
Five tracks are stunning, particularly 'Unsilent Storms in the North Abyss', 'Frozen by Icewinds', 'Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaustwinds' (the most epic track Immortal ever composed), and 'Eternal Years on the Path to the Cemetary Gates'.
These four tracks highlight Immortal at their very best, mixing chaotic yet coherent structures with aggressive, textured and melodic riffing.
'As the Eternity Opens' is nothing special, but it still beats everything and anything Demonaz has ever released sans Abbath. Basically his own nu metal solo project as well as the comical failure 'Northern Chaos God's.
'Pure Holocaust' is no 'Withdrawal', but neither is it as bad as Immortal's following shits.
Immortal = Poser Mosh Core
While those five tracks range from ok to acceptable, the other part of the album suffers from several significant defects.
Songs as a whole blend together, and generally lack coherence... some self-editing might have been nice, if only for the fact that Immortal are no Burzum, and thus not warranted in releasing anything over five minutes long.
The metalcore elements - witness the irritating stop-start stutter riffing in 'The Sun No Longer Rises' - and unimaginative Slayer rehashes - 'A Sign for the Norse Hordes to Ride' and the title track 'Pure Holocaust' - which so thoroughly ruined their later material make appearances here.
The end result is an album that, while somewhat enjoyable compared to the following turds - except maybe for 'Blizzard Beasts', which was ok - is nonetheless very flawed, and borders on being downright metalcore.
If only for it's historical importance, I would rate this higher. But unfortunately, the metalcore is just annoying and this needn't be an eight track album if Immortal only ever had the talent and creativity for four.
I'd rather listen to Mayhem and Burzum demos than Pure Holocaust.
Weak album overall. Despite their insistence otherwise (in various interviews with NSBM groups), I get the feeling based on their music that Immortal wouldn't really be allowed to 'drive' the trains, as much as be their passengers...
Pure Holocaust score: 5/100.