Black Metal legends IMMORTAL have finally graced us with a brand new album in the form of Northern Chaos Gods (July 6, Nuclear Blast Records), and I am here to tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. This record also marks the return of Demonaz on guitar, some 20 years after an injury stopped him from playing. No longer confined to just writing lyrics, he is now free to let his demonic guitar chords fly!! He’s also spewing venom as the vocalist these days, DUH! Drummer Horgh bashes away with great vengeance and furious anger across all eight tracks, and if possible, the duo sounds better than ever.
So rather than discuss the past. Let’s talk about this record, shall we? As soon as leadoff track and first single “Northern Chaos Gods” was released I was never more convinced that this album would totally destroy from beginning to end. “Into Battle Ride” is full of blast beats, dissonant guitars, and tr00 Black Metal vocals, the kind that I eagerly soak up like a sponge. An instant favorite right away was “Gates to Blashyrkh” for a couple of reasons: Firstly, the guitar intro and middle are both outstanding in capturing the essence of the song. And around that we have the blood-soaked meat and potatoes, which provides a hearty meal for me any day of the week. Trust me, this one fucking rules hard!
“Grim and Dark” is the sonic equivalent of some crew ripping off a high end luxury car dealership at 2 a.m., leaving with a Porsche or Ferrari before the cops even have time to wake up and respond. All I picture when I hear this one is showroom glass breaking. Horgh provides a hearty gallop to go with Demonaz’ riffs on “Called to Ice”, while “Where Mountains Rise” shows off a gorgeous clean guitar intro then 30 seconds into the song, everything comes together in what sounds like a gathering in the forest during a Norwegian winter. Then “Blacker of Worlds” shows up and the guys assault you from Hell to breakfast and back again!! This one also has one of the best choruses on this whole damn disc, by the way.
The ritual concludes with “Mighty Ravendark”, a nine-minute and change epic that is just that…epic. If this one doesn’t get the ice water in your veins flowing faster than normal then quite frankly you’re beyond help. Every time I hear this song the damn hook is stuck in my head all goddamn day. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve listened to this album every single day since I got it. Hey, bottom line is this: IMMORTAL did something really special with this here Northern Chaos Gods. The album is fucking AMAHHHZING, and that’s that. So when it comes out, do yourself a favor and fucking BUY IT. You won’t be sorry. My Top Albums of 2018 list just got another addition, that’s for damn sure!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM