Album Reviews

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods Review

Released by: Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: July 6th, 2018

Genre: Black Metal

Links: http://www.immortalofficial.com/

 

Line Up:

Demonaz | vocals, guitar

Horgh | drums

Peter Tägtgren | session bass

 

Tracklist:

1. Northern Chaos Gods 4:25
2. Into Battle Ride 3:50
3. Gates To Blashyrkh 4:38
4. Grim And Dark 5:27
5. Called To Ice 5:06
6. Where Mountains Rise 5:51
7. Blacker Of Worlds 3:43
8. Mighty Ravendark 9:14

 

The icebound gates are opening. Awakened to shroud the world in coldness and darkness once again. Blashyrkh has arisen – and with it “Northern Chaos Gods”.

The latest 8 track offering from Norway’s IMMORTAL titled Northern Chaos Gods has arrived which takes fans back to the traditional Norwegian black metal sound that IMMORTAL has been known for in the early days. This latest offering is full of hooks and technical brutality that both old and new fans of the band will enjoy.

Only one duo is able to evoke sinister settings like the world of bleak woods lurking behind Norwegian wafts of mist. That duo is IMMORTAL. Formed in Bergen in 1991, IMMORTAL made an immediate and enduring impact when they emerged from the flourishing Norwegian black metal scene. Northern Chaos Gods has been years in the making after the split with frontman Abbath – The remaining members decided to continue into battle and release this album without him. The album does not disappoint by its raw and more natural stripped down, black metal sound which promises to be one of the best albums released yet by the band yet.

From the opening track “Northern Chaos Gods” this album reminded us of the classic IMMORTAL sound in opposition to the bands more recent releases. The raw tone of Demonaz’s vocals are hard-hitting with a more stripped down and simplified old school approach as the power-chord riffs and break-neck tempo drumming from Horgh create an eerie backdrop for tales of pure darkness. As an opener the album is very promising and as mentioned earlier reminds us of the early days.

The track Blacker of Worlds stood out as a classic IMMORTAL track with an old school black metal thrash sound from the beginning. Blast beats throughout and really great riffs which don’t try to copy Abbaths style musically or vocally. After listening half way through this release we actually preferred it to the Abbath self titled album as there is no filler at all in this album.

“This is how Immortal is meant to sound”, croaks Demonaz, “and this is an album that pays tribute to our musical past as well.” – Nuclear Blast

We agree after listening to this album that IMMORTAL have returned to the scene with renewed intensity and with creativity at an all-time high. Northern Chaos Gods will inevitably restore the band to their rightful position as one of metal’s most distinctive and undeniable acts.

Where Mountains Rise highlights singer Demonaz’s vocal range and guitar playing skill. The albums session bassist Peter Tagtgren uses a technique that is dominant throughout the album with backing Horgh in neck braking black metal motions. The track unleashes the depths of hell upon listeners with Horgh behind the kit creating chaos with his blast beats and cutting fills.

The final track of the album Mighty Ravendark is definitely a personal highlight as each member is showcased in their unique talent. Demonaz in particular plays gim clean picked chord at the beginning which then blasts into a Bathory-esque powerful hooked riff that has the Norwegian black metal tone from so many old bands. This track is one that stands out from the rest of the album and makes it a strong contender for extreme album of the year.

This is one of my favourite IMMORTAL albums alongside Blizzard Beasts and At The Heart of Winter in terms of the production and differences between the sound of the tracks that helps to separate them from sounding much the same. The drum sound is particularly important in this album and it’s very powerful in terms of it not just being a guitar driven album. Long time IMMORTAL fans will really appreciate this latest album from the band and it’s definitely worth picking up the record through Nuclear Blast.

 

Written by: David Bell

Rating: 9/10

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