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Immortal (musical group)

Immortal began as a death metal outfit in 1989 in Bergen, Norway. Founding members Demonaz (Harald Nævdal) and Abbath (Olve Eikemo) recorded two demos under the name Amputation, which was changed to Immortal around 1991. Their third demo, Unholy Forces of Evil, witnessed a stylistic change to Black Metal and earned them a record contract.

Gradually, Immortal gained immense popularity in the underground, releasing several highly-acclaimed records on the French label Osmose. Unlike other contemporary Black Metal bands, Immortal's lyrical theme isn't based around Satanism, but rather deals with an imaginary kingdom called Blashyrk. Arguably, their best effort from this early period is Pure Holocaust, which served as a genre-defining milestone.

In 1997, an unfortunate event took place which had tremendous impact on the future of the band - main lyricist and guitarist Demonaz suffered a hand injury and wasn't able to continue playing. Still, he continued writing new material, while bassist Abbath took over the guitar duty. The change proved to be only for the better, as Immortal released what many feel is their best album, At the Heart of the Winter. In 2000, Immortal signed a record contract with Germany-based Nuclear Blast; this change to an arguably more commercial label didn't affect their style, something which they proved on their latest output, Sons of Northern Darkness.

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