Norwegian black metallers IMMORTAL — now consisting of lyricist/guitarist Demonaz (real name Harald Nævdal) and drummer Horgh (real name Reidar Horghagen) following last year's split with frontman Olve Eikemo (a.k.a. Abbath) — are working on material for the band's next album, to be released via the Nuclear Blast label.
Demonaz, IMMORTAL's founding member, has created the material based on his visions of Blashyrkh for nearly 25 years.
Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Northern Chaos Gods", "Called To Ice" and "Blacker Of Worlds".
Abbath last year claimed that he rightfully attempted to secure exclusive rights to the IMMORTAL name and logo after Demonaz and drummer Horgh effectively quit the legendary Norwegian black metal group.
Say Demonaz and Horgh: "The conflict was not about anyone leaving the band, as Abbath claimed. It was all about his personal problems. He had cancelled rehearsals and ruined the band's progress for a very long time. We were forced to confront him about it.
"Abbath recently told Australian website that we wanted things solely on our own timetable and that we claimed he needed rehab.
"The band had to reschedule rehearsals all the time because of him. Even then, he did not show up. He told the band, friends, and family that he needed to go to rehab again. He had got help from a clinic before. We offered to wait for him to recover this time also. Sadly he changed his decision.
"Instead of trying to solve his problems, he went behind our back and secretly applied for a trademark ownership of the bands logo and name. It was hard to believe that his problems had led him to such a point.
"When his attempt to get the rights was discovered by the band, he all of a sudden went solo. His accusations against the band in media changed from day to day. The fans started to question his version and wanted us to speak about what really happened. Unfortunately, we had to wait until the case was all closed, to make a statement.
"His trademark application was denied and the case closed by Patentstyret in November, 2015. One of the reasons was because he had only contributed as a co-writer of music in IMMORTAL. Nor did he contribute any lyrics or titles to the band's albums. The fact is that the music has always been a result from the band as a unit.
"IMMORTAL will record the new and long awaited album in 2016, which will be released by Nuclear Blast Records.
"We are well prepared and looking forward to present the new material to the fans.
"We did not want to rush things, but take the time to deliver another high quality IMMORTAL album."
Abbath previously told told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine: "I didn't want to go solo in the first place. I wanted the best for IMMORTAL. I didn't want it to end this way. First of all, I just wanted my music out. I wanted to record the [next] album [because] it's been so many years since 'All Shall Fall'. And both Demonaz and Horgh, they have kids and families now, and it just hit that point where I couldn't work the way they wanted to work any more. I wanted things on my terms and they wanted things on their terms, and it was very difficult."
He continued: "I wanted to rehearse at least three times a week, but often it was only once a week and things went so slow. I sat there with all this material, I kept the rehearsal space and recorded the stuff on click track, but it was a very strained atmosphere and the Last time we worked together was in early June last year."
The trademark application from Eikemo was denied on July 21, 2015 and he has snce launched his own band called ABBATH.
"IMMORTAL never stopped; we just had to go through a long legal process before we could go out in the media with the news," Demonaz and Horgh said in a statement.
"IMMORTAL is much more than just a band, and much more than just a form of music. The departure of one member cannot change that, no matter. We will continue what we believe in, and the power of 'Blashyrkh' shall live on."
Asked if the decision to part ways and seek out new band members was inevitable, Abbath said: "I was forced to do it this way. I wanted IMMORTAL to continue, but not the way it was. The dialogue has not been there and it's also my mistake. I should have brought up this shit a long time ago, but IMMORTAL, after Demonaz's problems with his arms, it never became a band after that."
He continued: "IMMORTAL is a very special situation. [Demonaz] hasn't been in the band, but then I always wanted to do the best for everybody, to have the band spirit, and that's why when we decided to start IMMORTAL again, we tried to get the spirit back, and bring him on tour, and just share our thing and be a band and have a kick-ass time. But it never worked out. The chemistry wasn't there with the IMMORTAL guys and hadn't been for a while."
Abbath added: "I believe in my music and I believe in my expression, but time flies and we grow apart. Maybe in the future we can go back again, I don't know, but right now I just want to do my thing and just be ABBATH and have people around me who support that."
Bass duties for ABBATH are being handled by a man familiar to metal fans across the world — Tom Cato Visnes, more widely known as King Ov Hell and main composer for several GORGOROTH albums as well as his own bands OV HELL, with singer Shagrath from DIMMU BORGIR, and GOD SEED, with exceptional black metal vocalist Gaahl.
IMMORTAL's core trio consisting of Abbath, Demonaz and Horgh had been together since 1996 and has been responsible for crafting the band's last five albums: "Blizzard Beasts" (1997), "At The Heart Of Winter" (1999), "Damned In Black" (2000), "Sons Of Northern Darkness" (2002) and the 2009 reunion album "All Shall Fall".