Shall we go to Blashyrk again? I mean its been too long and the last trip wasn’t all that good was it? Wait, this trip there won’t include Abbath! That’s ok, Demonaz has got this, trust me!!
Holy fucking shit, if there was any doubt that the legend that is Immortal was going to suffer without Abbath then wrap your ears around “Northern Chaos Gods” and it will not take you long to let go of that doubt. How long? Hmmm about a minute!
So Abbath bailed (hit up google for that unpleasantness) and many figured, ok, this could be the band down and out. Remember though, that those early albums were mainly Demonaz composed and those records have some real hardcore fans. Forget it though, if you think that “Northern Chaos Gods” is just a hark back to those and nothing more, you couldn’t be more wrong. What you have here is the blackest metal sounding record from the band in 20 years and I’ll go on record and say, it is arguably their most quality. Yes, perhaps even stronger than the much worshipped, “Sons of Northern Darkness.”
One thing that keeps coming to mind when I listen to these songs is that it sounds like Demonaz has always been the vocalist and I don’t mean he sounds anything like Abbath but that his voice works so well and sounds so fitting and assured. This has got to be from finally getting to deliver his own lyrics.
If you have already decided it’s all going to be just warp-speed icy riffing and blasting, then you would be wrong. There are lots of dynamics within and lots of differing moods, between dusk and pitch-black night. There is also, a rather welcome, continuation of song-based arrangements, that Immortal has always employed and doing what is best for the intended atmosphere. Make no mistake though, Immortal has never gone for the primitive and minimalist end of Black Metal, this is as epic as it has ever been without being overblown and pompous.
I quite enjoy Abbath’s solo record, but this will get many repeat listens. Fans of new and old Immortal, rest up, eat well and enjoy your loved ones for tomorrow (or whenever you listen/buy the record) we head back in to the Mighty Ravendark of Blashyrkh and we may not survive.