Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods Review
By Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records – 2018 – Black Metal
It has been a rough few years for Immortal. Having been one of the pioneering bands in the wave of Norwegian black metal, Immortal found itself adrift following the departure of iconic member Abbath in 2015 and due to this, the band had briefly announced that it would be going its separate ways. However, in a strange twist of fate, Demonaz Doom Occulta would take over the vocal duties and make a return to the guitar for the first time since 1997’s ‘Blizzard Beasts’ with the band announcing that they would release their 9th studio album ‘Northern Chaos Gods’ in 2018.
Unfortunately, with Abbath striking first with his excellent debut solo album, the pressure was on for Immortal to deliver something special. Luckily, the band have hit the ground running and ‘Northern…’ has all the hallmarks of a classic Immortal album; it is full of rhythmic blast beats and wall of sound distortion that envelops the album and conjures up memories of playing that Norwegian black metal for the very first time. Tracks such as ‘Grim and Dark’, ‘Called to Ice’ and the enduring ‘Mighty Ravendark’ all add to the sparse overall atmosphere of the album which all summon up images of the cold, dark frozen north. Furthermore, these tracks are not the best on ‘Northern Chaos Gods’, ‘Into Battle Ride’ the title track itself the excellent bouncing ‘Where Eagles Dare’ style riff and drums of ‘Where Mountains Rise’ even stand tall amongst its superb neighbouring tracks.
In the grand scheme of things, ‘Northern Chaos Gods’ not only equals their former frontman’s recent release, but in many ways surpasses it. Immortal have not rushed this album and it shows because with it, the band have delivered one of the best black metal albums of the year.
Rating : 92/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann