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Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods (2018) - Review

Band: Immortal
Album title: Northern Chaos Gods
Release date: 6 July 2018
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

01. Northern Chaos Gods
02. Into Battle Ride
03. Gates To Blashyrkh
04. Grim And Dark
05. Called To Ice
06. Where Mountains Rise
07. Blacker Of Worlds
08. Mighty Ravendark

The undisputed kings of Norwegian black metal, the mighty Immortal are finally back with a new album that is of course one of the most anticipated releases this year for any fan of black metal. The future for this legendary band was quite uncertain after they released their previous album, All Shall Fall, back in 2009, and like you all already know many things were going on. I don't want to write much about this, but we all know that one of the founding members, Abbath left the band in 2015 and Immortal were about to split up at a certain point, but Demonaz and Horgh, who got the legal rights over the name, decided to continue. And they did it good, since Abbath is nowadays acting more like a clown than a "true" black metal entity. On Northern Chaos Gods the two are joined by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) on bass as a session musician, and what we got is exactly what we all wanted to get from the legion called Immortal.

I suppose that the band had many options how to continue their musical journey, but they decided to give us what they do best, a rabid furore, teeth-baring aggression and an eerie cold yet melodic black metal that will shaken the very foundations of black metal. There's certainly no missing of Abbath, as Demonaz who took over the vocal duties beside guitars, shows that he can do it good as well if not better, and Northern Chaos Gods for me sounds way better than Abbath's self-titled solo album which was released in 2016. The new Immortal stuff is pretty raw and old school sounding, in a certain way it is a typical "back to the roots" Immortal album and sometimes it feels like to be thrown into the times when Immortal conquered the black metal throne with cult albums like Pure Holocaust, Battles In The North, Blizzard Beasts, At The Heart Of Winter and Damned In Black.

Northern Chaos Gods is unrelenting tribute to their past and with this also to all Nordic black metal. It's an ultimate album that is meant to bring black metallers to their knees with this grim, frostbiten and triumphant sounding eight tracks. It sounds epic, throughout aggressive, raw and with similar driving melodic lines as we were used to hear on their masterpieces released back in 90s. With rasping cold icy shrieks right from the northern abyss, trademark melodic thrash metal influenced riffs and well controled diatonic tremolo picks, crushing bass lines and terrific drumming, Immortal are here to agitate listeners down to the bone, and they made it. Beside the constant tumultuous speeding aggression, only here and there interupted by some acoustic passages, there's also present that specific frostbiten atmosphere in all of the tracks.

Already the first revealed single, the album opener and the title track, "Northern Chaos Gods", showed that we can expect something extraordinary, but there was still some doubt present if the band can offer all of the tracks on this level, no worries, the rest is even better, just listen to the fantastic mid tempo paced captivating crusher "Gates To Blashyrkh", to the grimness of the haunting bombast named "Grim And Dark", or to the future black metal classic "Where Mountains Rise" which sounds just like if being cleaved out of a massive glacier. The best what this album offers is reserved for the end, the intense driver "Blacker Of Worlds" with some fantastic riffs, and the mighty epic more than nine minutes long "Mighty Ravendark", offering a blistering journey through Blashyrkh, the realm of all darkness and cold, sounding like taking the essential epic feel from one of for me all time favorite black metal albums - At The Heart Of Winter.

Northern Chaos Gods is pure blackened intensity and even if it relys on the old school Immortal sound, it still is a work of art that deliver a record honouring old virtues yet is in a certain way establishing new standards. This is nothing but another cult album by Immortal, which brings eruption of cold heaviness in these eight testimonies of Immortal supremacy. Northern Chaos Gods is massive, dense, it has a perfect production done by Peter Tägtgren, and thus the power to wake up the eternaly sleeping damned in black souls laying dormant in the permafrost. Demonaz and Horgh not only that they did a fantastic album, they also showed in a refined way that they can keep the legacy named Immortal going on in a mesmerizing way. This is a majestic comeback for Immortal, a true cult album that will impress their most devoted fans and I'm sure also bring some new ones.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10