One of the most surprising events of 2015 was undoubtedly the ousting of co-founding member Abbath from Immortal. Largely considered the face of the band and the musical creative force behind the pioneering Norwegian act, he lost the rights to the band name to fellow Immortal members Demonaz and Horgh. Abbath has offered his take on what happened and now, for the first time, the remaining duo have commented on what led to their decision to split with the iconic frontman.

Issuing a statement on their Facebook page, Demonaz and Horgh explained the events that transpired, leaving them no choice but to continue under the Immortal moniker themselves. They start off by saying, "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."

The two continued, "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."

This conflicts what Abbath had stated last year. With inconsistent rehearsals, the practice space was not being utilized as desired and Abbath offered to pay for the full cost of the space. Demonaz and Horgh moved out of the room and Abbath assumed this had also meant that the two had withdrawn from the band.

The remaining members went on to comment, "Instead of trying to solve his problems, he went behind our back and secretly applied for a trademark ownership of the band's logo and name. It was hard to believe that his problems had led him to such a point."

When Demonaz and Horgh found out about this, Abbath pursued a different route. "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."

Getting down to the result of the legal battle, they wrapped it up, stating, "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."

Demonaz played guitar in the band from 1991-1997 and had to lay his axe down after tendonitis in his arm prevented him from playing guitar. However, he remained an active part of the band, penning all of the lyrics. Horgh joined on drums in 1996 and was first featured on Immortal's fourth album, Blizzard Beasts.

Immortal are working on their new album, expected to be out next year on Nuclear Blast.

Abbath is readying the release of his debut album under his namesake moniker and will be headlining the Decibel Magazine Tour in 2016 with High on Fire, Skeletonwitch and Tribulation as support. Check out the dates in our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

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