Immortal - _All Shall Fall_
(Nuclear Blast, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (
Considering the sheer volume of creative left turns, misguided attempts at reinvention and plain old wimping out that's gone on amongst black metal's erstwhile elite since the turn of the century, it's comforting to find the first Immortal opus for seven years embracing most of the sonic traits of the genre's halcyon era. In fact, right around the point where the eponymous album opener segues into an inspired progressive break, you may find yourself drawing comparisons to 1998's seminal _At the Heart of Winter_ -- and you wouldn't be far wrong.While the I project may have suggested otherwise, Immortal circa 2009 is as gloriously frostbitten and misanthropic proposition as they've ever been. Accordingly, a track like "Hordes of War" wouldn't have sounded out of place on _Pure Holocaust_ -- minus the distinctly un-kvlt production, of course. Meanwhile "Unearthly Kingdom" recalls the group at their most epic, Abbath's voice spewing a level of convincingly acerbic vitriol that pretenders to his throne could only dream of.And that's probably the point. Having spent the last several years watching a genre that they played no small part in innovating and invigorating be sullied by a legion of corpse-painted bed-wetters, _All Shall Fall_ arrives at precisely the right stitch in time, and it does not disappoint in the slightest. One would only hope that we don't have to await this long for another full length again.
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