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Immortal | ‘Northern Chaos Gods’

I couldn’t quite believe my ears hearing the title track when it dropped a month or two back.

It was (and is) absolutely scintillating.

That Demonaz could return Immortal to the style of its best years, Abbath nowhere in sight, with a track played at 100mph and harder than even the new Marduk: well, it takes some doing.

So credit where its due. No matter what, he hasn’t compromised.

Except that a few scorchingly fast tracks aside, this is not an album of great songs.

In fact as far as memorable, meaningful or even good riffs go – I’m afraid to say this album’s a bit of a let down.

It’s a massive recycle job, squeezing the ‘Blashrykh’ classic till the pips squeak for every last drip of theme and riffing they can get out of it.

Which is a piss poor way to operate.

I mean, all the words always were the same on Immortal albums – raven, realm, nebula, winter, all that – but I always put it down to Abbath’s bonkers little inner world.

Stuff on here like ‘Gates To Blashrykh’ just smacks of desperation with its second rate pillaging of the original, and no, I don’t give a fuck if he wrote it in the first place.

It’s like ‘The Unforgiven II’. Who ever asked for that?

And… am I imagining it, or after ‘Gates To Blashrykh’ – in the shittily titled ‘Grim And Dark’ – do the very opening lyrics of the original ‘Blashrykh’ get spun out in their entirety?

Let’s check. ‘Far above the raven gate…’

Yes! So what’s that about?

One song after the other ripping off their own glory days?

(Well theirs and other people’s – ‘Into Battle Ride’?)

These are not knowing nods. It’s a wholesale creative deficit.

Yes, it’s initially a heady mix of ‘Battles’ and ‘Sons’ tonally, but after a few spins, the lack of genuinely decently song anywhere starts to grate a bit.

The rhythms are there, the Tatgren production is there – the warmth of which never truly suited Immortal by the way – but it’s an empty, career necessitating album that’s just weak at its core.

The songs pass by – there’s no heart in them, as insanely brilliant as it is to hear Horgh going absolutely nuclear on ‘Blacker Of Worlds’.

The riffs are utterly stock, I regret to say, and this album is a pastiche on a better and more meaningful time. Strip off Horgh’s drums and there is precisely nothing to see here.

And they know it ,because that’s exactly why it sounds like it does.

At least Marduk are still angry, still trying.

2.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 18/07/18

  1. This is why we can’t have nice things lol. I’m happy it sounds like old Immortal.

  2. apart from a few tracks this has been a disappointment. just too samey and definite lack of ideas

  3. Ivan Drago Says:

    Unforgiven II is a great song

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I actually really like it, especially the title track, Grim and Dark, Where Mountains Rise and Mighty Ravendark. Impressed with Demonaz’s vocals, great riffs and Horgh is a machine drumming. Have had it on repeat since the release date.

    Yes it’s a retread of the Blashyrk theme, previous riffs and lyrics but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good.

    Wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to tour again but apparently Demonaz is completely recovered from the tendonitis after a surgery a few years ago and will be able to play live again.

  5. Desperate hey!

  6. Diablosis Says:

    Fair review but I really enjoyed the album. I like all Immortal albums as well as the members solo stuff. I think this is one of their best probably since ATHOW. Damned in Black is the only real average Immortal album for me but I still listen to it from time to time.
    100% agree with the Marduk comparison. Viktoria is a very angry record.

  7. I liked the title track and so I was curious about the album. However, the other few songs I listened to were pretty hopeless. Sort of like the Immortal equivalent of zero alcohol beer.

  8. Opensores Says:

    Listened to this a few times now. Review pretty much on the money. No real depth or character to it. I’ll stick to the new Marduk.

  9. Horgh doesn’t care what painted goon he is playing with as long as he gets paid. Haha

    State of them.

  10. Wow, and just in case people whinge and moan that music is dead, well here comes another internet nobody to try and hammer a few nails into the coffin with a petty, bitchy review. Really helpful.

  11. Here, the Earl reviewed ‘Sons…’ on this very site 17 years ago. He knows his Immortal. If he says it’s a rehash then it more than likely is. I’m not even into the band, btw.

    Just wouldn’t be a MI review without some snowflake’s feelings getting hurt.

  12. The comment by Gordon was idiotic and narrow-minded. The reviewer was giving his honest opinion, your reaction seems to indicate his opinion is important to you. It also suggests you are childish, you can’t handle a view that is not fawning over the album.

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