A new Immortal album raises more questions than answers, it would seem. With the departure of Abbath in 2015 and the more recent fighting that Horgh and Demonaz have had over the band’s rights in recent years, it seems interesting to see War Against All pop up as their tenth proper album, the first since 2018’s Northern Chaos Gods.
Immortal is now a Demonaz solo venture, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound like Immortal. Opening with the title track, Demonaz is able to deliver the frenetic pace that he was once unable to do due to acute tendinitis. His playing seems to have become resurrected.
“Thunders of Darkness” has plenty to love with the rising and falling of the riffs as if they are scaling an icy monolith alongside the listener, begging for you to achieve the same level of glacial grandeur being provided by the multitude of riffs that wash over you. “Return To Cold” and “Norlandihr” gallop across the arctic plain with Demonaz as your guide, a 1-2 punch of songs which continue to deliver on the classic sounds of Immortal’s escapism, making for something whose parts are greater than their whole.
After all this time the band had yet to deliver a true title track, but as we come towards the end of War Against All it arrives. The drums speed behind precise riffs while Demonaz lays his vocals down in less of a rasp than their former frontman, evoking some of the sounds of the original run of the band from 1991-1997.
If you want a classic-styled black metal release you’d be hard pressed to much better than War Against All, an album put out by the newest iteration of a classic band in a constant state of flux. Immortal are always grim and frostbitten; even ten albums in their wintry war wages on.
(released May 26, 2023 on Nuclear Blast)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Listen To Immortal – “Wargod”