Genre: Death Metal
1. Suffocate the Masses
2. Left on the Stake
3. Enslaved in Rot
Before Black Metal really took off in Norway, most of the bands were performing some form of Death Metal. Darkthrone's earliest material was Death Metal, pre-Emperor Thou Shalt Suffer also did some Death Metal, and Immortal was no exception to this. Now I don't have the original demo or anything, instead quite a few years ago I picked up this bootleg 7". I didn't see any other way for me to hear the Immortal demo, so I immediately picked it up, because this was before the mp3 craze had really taken off.
Unlike Sweden, the Death Metal Norway was producing never really took off. After hearing some of these old demos you can kind of understand why. Darkthrone was the only one really doing anything decent in that regard, but in retrospect of Black Metal you do kind of get the impression these bands aren't playing the right genre for them. It's more like people interested in heavier music trying to find their niche. Most of the Death Metal is poorly produced, but that aside, the riffing is typically very mid-paced with some very bizarre solo ideas from time to time.
It's tough to say if I had heard this back in '91 if I would have found merit in it. But in 2016 delving that far back, the early Death Metal being produced by Norway is more of a historical curiosity for me. Norway would go on to create some pretty good Death Metal bands, but the early inception of the style was never something that interested me as far as I can remember. Thankfully, Black Metal production would ramp up and as soon as these bands found Black Metal, they immediately switched to the genre and the rest is the history of a music genre I've enjoyed almost my entire life at this point.