Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 3/5/2002
Sons of Northern Darkness
posted on 2/2002 By:
Immortal couldn't have chosen a better title for their latest album, Sons Of Northern Darkness. What more can be said after that? With lyrics that touch on elements of uncompromising evil and a sound all their own, this Norwegian trio (four with Demonaz) has set the tone for what we should expect from metal in 2002. They obviously have their sights set on taking control of the black metal scene, and with this collection of thunderous hymns of evil they might just do so. Although the year is young, the competition within the black genre will have to come up with some musical heft to contend with the ultimate warriors of the northern lands. This is the seventh full length studio release from the rulers of "Blashyrkh", and all fans familiar with this band's two prior releases are sure to be pleased. With the help of Peter Tagtgren on the third consecutive studio production, this album includes a group of songs that mesh together the masterful mayhem of melody found on At The Heart Of Winter and the profound powerful attack heard on Damned In Black with the aggression that was established on 1992's Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism. The band's standard of being an all out battling machine was set 10 years ago, but it wasn't until the aforementioned At The Heart Of Winter that they finally received the production quality they so rightfully deserved. I'm not bashing their first four releases, but when you're unable to capture the true sound of a band the music is hard to comprehend let alone digest. Sons Of Northern Darkness starts out with a conquering riff involving a lightning fast picked progression toppled by the destruction of today's ever so common blast beat. Even though the o'l blast beat is a bit overused by many drummers who base their whole style on it, they get away with it here due to all the other abilities he possesses, or should I say possess him. The drumming found on this album is not all about speed all the time. There are slower passages that are complimented by melodies that come across so eloquently I have no choice but to break out the metal grimace. It's been a while since I've been able to break out the grimmest of grim expressions and all I can say is it's quite a relief. I'm either looking in the wrong direction or being steered in the wrong direction because it's been a while since I've run into a disc so emotionally compelling. The lyrics Demonaz has written are pretty much in the same vain as all of his previous work. They touch on the dark bitterness of anything from mountainous landscapes to the horrid evil of the mind itself to the legendary stories of old. The beauty for me is that when I read along as I'm listening I can picture what he's talking about. I may not be seeing the same visions he is, but it is a site of beauty nonetheless. Bringing these stories of ice and snow to life is one of the most unique voices in all of metal. Known as the "Croak" around Studio Rosenthal, Abbath seems to spew out sounds from his throat with little or no effort. Unlike most, if not all death/black vocalists, he seems to resist the urge to strain his voice when he sings. I don't know what his trick is but he definitely stands in a class all his own. I'd like to end this dissection by sending out thanks to my good friend the Wrexican for turning me on to Immortal. This band is one of my favorites and I can't see that changing anytime too soon. Don't let the corpse paint or leather duds throw you off track (Are those TV antennas your holding there fellas?), because aside from that possible state of cheese, these guys write some damn crushing music. Favorite Lyric: "Tremble with fear for the banner of our kings War now calls heed to the battle Hear our swords clinging in the wind Men cast from their saddles horses roar and scream"
posted on 2/2002 By:
With 2002 well under way and the assailment of Millennium Metal already sinking it's claws into the ever-evolving scene. So far we've come across crushers along the lines of Carnal Forge's Please… Die!, and Borknagar's, Empiricism. With releases soon to come from In Flames, Soilwork, and Hypocrisy just to name a few. Oh what ever will transpire? However we now turn our heads towards the sky and listen for the steal of the Nordic Gods of the wastelands of Bergen, Immortal. True Norwegian frost metal adhering through extreme winds of bluster and ice. With a new record label on their side (Nuclear Blast) and what in my opinion is their finest release to date. Immortal bestows upon the world their latest metal exertion, Sons of Northern Darkness. The perfect follow up to their 2000 release, Damned in Black. With the patented Immortal sound always present, S.O.N.D. is a combination of the key strong points of both At the Heart of Winter and Damned in Black. With tremendous substance flowing from beginning to end. S.O.N.D. begins with a bit of crusher entitled One by One. A speedy little number with gigantic balls of brawn. One By One alone is so damn metal you would be guaranteed the complete cavity search if you tried to pass this disk through the ole metal detector at your local airport. So kids, keep this foker at home when you decide to fly. Horgh's performance behind the kit is beyond commanding and completely merciless. His kicks do indeed ride upon the winds of the northern wrath. Abbath brings the pain countless times through out as well. With meat chords to speed smack only to be broken down with the ultimate gut punch. Yes there is some clean though out and yes even it makes your insides swell with metal bloat. With bruiser tunes like Tyrants, Antarctica, and Beyond the North Waves. I found myself rewinding this motherfoker on several occasions. The tunes stick in your head and leave you wanting more every time. Demonaz's lyrical standpoint consistently leaves phrases in your head that will not go away. By far some of the best lyrics that would have left even Elvis singing along. Bottom Line: Immortal do wield a unique blend of metal. With an almost fantasy undertone coming off the lyrics minus the cheeze. I can't put my finger on it exactly but it works and it works well. If you have even the smallest inkling of metal flowing through your veins you need to own this one. BOTTOM FOKING LINE!
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