Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Norwegian black metal band Immortal have returned with a new album Northern Chaos Gods, following a nine year album drought and the chaotic, publicly aired departure of iconic member Abbath.
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With this new album, Immortal have reforged as a duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Demonaz and drummer Horgh, and have stripped away the epic dimensions and glossiness that crept in on All Shall Fall to deliver an album of otherworldly grimness.
Northern Chaos Gods announces that Immortal has not only survived, it thrives.
Demonaz’ solo songwriting on Northern Chaos Gods reflects a ‘nuts and bolts’ approach to Immortal’s sound, with wall-to-wall intensity on furious riff-orientated tracks such as Into Battle Ride, Called to Ice, and Blacker of Worlds.
This invocation of Pure Holocaust-era fast and violent sound reflects the return of Demonaz to Immortal’s guitar performance after twenty years, having well and truly recovered from arm injury.
The pace does slow slightly with the discordant majesty of Where Mountains Rise, capturing the dark mightiness of Immortal. Demonaz’s vocals are seethingly cold in some of the longer, more textured songs of Northern Chaos Gods such as Gates to Blashyrkh. The nine minute closing track Mighty Ravendark stands as an all-consumingly grim ode to Immortal’s legendary corpus, and a statement of its timelessness.
Northern Chaos Gods has been stripped of all showy polish, and rendered in quite gnarly production by Peter Tägtgren to reinforce the classic Immortal ‘frostbitten’ sound. This is not, however, entirely an ‘old school album’; rather Northern Chaos Gods announces that Immortal has not only survived, it thrives.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Where Mountains Rise, Into Battle Ride, Mighty Ravendark
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Early-Mid 1990’s Immortal,
Northern Chaos Gods is out 6th July 2018 via Nuclear Blast.