The mighty Immortal have released - a few months ago already, sorry for that - their latest, "Sons of Northern Darkness". Still featuring Abbath's trademark black metal growl and Horgh's furious double bass blasts, it's another beacon in the black metal sea for other bands to try and reach. Like "Damned in Black" before it, I didn't initially like it that much. But then it starts to grow. Even so, I think I still prefer the former, which should in retrospect have received a 4 bullet rating instead of the 3 it actually got.

Compared to classic Immortal, "Sons of Northern Darkness" is again fairly accessible and (dare I say?) melodic. Especially "Tyrants" has definite ballad-like qualities. But most of it is full-out black metal the likes of which we know and love. "Demonium" is my favourite, probably because it harkens back to "Damned in Black" more than the other tracks. The title track boasts some pretty unusual drumming.

Immortal is one of the prime and most serious black metal bands. I've seen them live and now I know that they don't take themselves as seriously as I thought. But, even so, the Mighty Immortal is Mighty Bad when it comes to the grammar in their lyrics. Really, with a sentence like "the legions marches on" you can't expect to be taken seriously by anyone with a slightly more than cursory knowledge of English. Maybe it's the thing to do, I don't know. Vader and Dimmu Borgir also write grammatically heinous lyrics. Well, the music is pretty good at any rate.



Written May 2002


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