Metal Hammer (UK)
IMMORTAL RIP? (March 2015)
Black metal’s most recognisable band were caught in a messy split that rocked the underground
Guardians of Blashyrkh, purveyors of vicious and epic Norwegian black metal and lords of all metal memes, Immortal were one of the underground’s great untouchables. But in 2015, it was announced that frontman Abbath had been sacked by co-founder/lyricist Demonaz and drummer Horgh, resulting in a legal battle over ownership of the band’s name. Abbath claimed that he had believed that his bandmates were planning a lengthy hiatus and had stopped contributing to their rehearsal space costs. In a statement on Facebook, Demonaz and Horgh rebuffed their estranged bandmate, claiming that he “had cancelled rehearsals and ruined the band’s progress for a long time” and that he had expressed a need to go to rehab to deal with “personal problems”. The legal dispute ended with Demonaz and Horgh retaining the name and, in 2018, re-emerging with an acclaimed new album, Northern Chaos Gods.
Abbath has ploughed forward under his own name, releasing two well-received albums and delivering plenty of Immortal classics during live shows. The likelihood of a reunion with his former comrades remains slim.
“We tried to solve the situation, but we couldn’t agree”, Demonaz told us in 2018. “It doesn’t look like that’ll change, but you never know. It’s history and I can’t change history.”