Of all the Norwegian black metal bands, Immortal has, arguably, stuck the closest to the mystical, occult-inspired vision of the scene: the bandmembers kept the evil-Kiss makeup throughout the band's existence, rarely experimented outside of the traditional guitars-drums-bass instrumental configuration, and never revealed their real names. Brothers in pseudonyms only, vocalist/bassist Abbath Doom Occulta and guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta formed Immortal in Bergen, Norway, in 1990. Abbath was originally a member of Old Funeral, a death metal garage band that also included Varg Vikernes, who would later gain notoriety not only with his own project, Burzum, but for murdering Mayhem guitarist Euronymous; Demonaz had split from fellow Bergen scenesters Amputation. (Notably, Immortal always willfully separated itself from Mayhem's oft-felonious black metal "inner circle" scene in Oslo, and downplayed its relationships with its members.) Inspired by the robust Norwegian forests and bitter cold climate, Abbath and Demonaz conceived the fictional, demon-and-battle-filled realm Blashyrkh, a foundation upon which all of Immortal's lyrical journeys would rest.