Immortal remain one of the first and most important of the Norwegian black metal bands. Long known as a mysterious, corpse-paint slathered, winter scene-obsessed, fire-breathing, brutally fast black/thrash metal combo, Immortal's music was all but impossible to get one's hands on for the years they were most active -- 1991-1995 -- and long after, until their material was finally repackaged and re-issued in 2006. Distinguished from the whole of the Norwegian scene by a highly distinctive, glacier-like thrum that characterized their trio of essential early albums -- Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism (1992), Pure Holocaust (1993) and Battles in the North (1995) -- Immortal further separated themselves from the pack with the fact that they did not espouse Satanism. Their lyrics mostly centered on tales of a fictional and elaborately conceived planet ravaged by constant war. The band continued to release albums until 2002, when they went on recording hiatus until 2009, only appearing at European metal festivals and a handful of resurrective tours in the interim.