Blizzard Beasts, Immortal's fourth album, sounds like a rush job when compared to the rest of the band's triumphant catalog. The majesty of the group's songwriting is buried in the album's subpar production values, which render the potentially brilliant hyperspeed riffing and drum battery gutless and ineffectual. "Nebular Ravens Winter," "Suns That Sank Below," and "Frostdemonstorm" offer a few decent riffs and solid arrangements, and six-minute epic "Mountains of Might" leans toward the black-metal-by-way-of-German-thrash genius of subsequent albums -- but the rest of the record shows little progression from predecessor Battles in the North. Ultimately, Blizzard Beasts should be chalked up as a transitional album in Immortal's mighty career, being the last to feature guitarist and founding member Demonaz (he quit after a bout with tendonitis); bassist/vocalist Abbath would take over six-string and songwriting duties, ultimately leading the band out of blastbeat hell and across more broad-scoped, epic terrain. Still, it's hard to write off Blizzard Beasts as a failure; the record is brilliant when compared to similar Norwegian black metal acts mired in ludicrous "necro" aesthetics, but it just doesn't match up with Immortal's usual balance of underground credibility with high production and songwriting standards.
AllMusic Review by John Serba