Abbath and Demonaz walked through the grim winter landscapes of Telemark, Norway. The gray-white sky and the snow blended almost as one.
The purpose of this trek was to gather inspiration for a follow-up to “All Shall Fall,” and they were geared up full in black leather and corpsepaint, should anyone sight them and take pictures.
Yet there was emptiness gnawing at their souls, and the journey felt inauthentic and hollow, Abbath thought. It was true that nothing was like before. The bond between them was simply not the same.
Due to his wrist condition, Demonaz could no longer play diabolic tremolo guitar riffs, he only wrote lyrics and performed managerial duties. But that was not the whole of it. Abbath also considered whether he had already taken Immortal too far from their original sound, and exerted too much control. But no. It couldn’t be so. A band was supposed to go forward, not stay in its past glory.
Their path sloped downhill, toward a snaking fjord in the distance. Slowly, Abbath became aware of something – a low thrumming sound? His meditations dissolved, as he tried to pinpoint the origin. Just what the hell was this? Abbath looked to the clouded sky, but honestly the sound wasn’t like any aircraft. It was lower, heavier, and definitely coming from below.
“Hear that?” he asked Demonaz in a low croak.
Demonaz stopped, listening.
“Someone’s playing funeral doom? In this middle of nowhere? No. It doesn’t sound like music. Rather, machinery of some kind.”
Abbath took a few steps forward, into the direction he approximated to be the sound’s origin.
Then, without warning, the snow gave way violently beneath him.
“Fuck!” he shouted as he fell into the darkness of the snow-concealed crevasse, and the voice echoed back at him, as if in a hellish dream. Until he understood it was actually Demonaz, above, yelling the exact same thing in obvious shock.
Abbath himself was too much taken by surprise for proper shock even to register. Instead, he understood with a strange clarity that this fall would likely be fatal.