Sons Of Northern Darkness
(Nuclear Blast Records)
December 2001... our country suffers from frost, rain and cold. King winter is reigning... IMMORTAL couldn't pick a better time for the release of their new studio-album. With a bit of luck, 2002 could even become the year of IMMORTAL: besides their switch from Osmose to Nuclear Blast - which will help them to make a big step forward for sure - "Sons Of Northern Darkness" has namely everything to take the band to the top (if they aren't there already). Musically, IMMORTAL inspired themselves very clearly by their absolute masterpiece "At The Heart Of Winter", which doesn't decrease the quality of this new record, more on the contrary... "Sons Of Northern Darkness" is composed very riff-orientated and is incredibly tight played, the many tours within the last couple of years made IMMORTAL obviously grow together into a very tight unit. The production was just as on "At The Heart Of Winter" and "Damned In Black" laying in the hands of Peter Tägtgren who managed to give IMMORTAL a clear but at the same time very brutal sound. The thing that makes "Sons Of Northern Darkness" a really special and simply great album is to my opinion the featured material which is more diverse than ever before! The album opens very furiously with 'One By One' and the title-track, then IMMORTAL totally slow it down. With 'Tyrants', you get a very heavy mid-tempo track where the unique voice of Abbath just shreds and where you just HAVE to bang your head to! The success-formula calm / heavy parts in the shape of acoustic, atmospheric parts / 'biting' guitar-riffs (just think on their classic 'Blashyrkh', I guess then you all know what I mean...) is used throughout the complete album with the tracks 'Antarctica' and the somehow melancholic sounding 'Beyond The North Waves' as best result. "Sons Of Northern Darkness" is an album through which the team Abbath / Horgh once again prove their excellent capabilities of composing simply great songs which should be able to convince even the last person who still had their doubts about the qualities of IMMORTAL. I also think that "Sons Of Northern Darkness" has more pure traditional metal influences than ever before, so with this album they should also be able to enlarge their fan-base enormeously! 2002 hasn't even started yet and we already have one of the best albums to see the light... To quote Dan Swanö about Opeth "You have to buy this, it is the law!".