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Review: Immortal - All Shall Fall
All Shall Fall

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 40:10
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: October 31, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
All Shall Fall

Rated 4.06/5 (81.11%) (72 Votes)

A lot of buzz about this, the loooong-awaited eighth album from Immortal; one of the few (if not the only) original second-wave Norwegian bands to still be producing good music and get respect as a veteran act. People may whine and bitch that this is not a masterwork, but I think it says something that even after all this time, we feel like we might actually get one. We have waited seven long years since the release of the defining trio of Immortal albums (At The Heart of Winter, Damned in Black, and Sons of Northern Darkness) and now at last we have All Shall Fall. I don't think any album could possibly live up to the expectations for this one. This album doesn't, but it is still a damned good album.

If there is a failing here, it's that this is a cut above solid, while falling short of awesome. Everything we expect from an Immortal album is in place here: the guitar sound, the lyrical themes, Abbath's distinctive croak – this sounds exactly like what I expected. Some of this sounds a lot like songs off the I album Between Two Worlds, which was a cool album, but this is Immortal, and it shouldn't sound as much like I as it does in places. The riffs are a bit too melodic, the rhythms a bit too bouncy here and there. The song people seem to like best is "The Rise of Darkness", which I also like, but I have to call if for sounding too much like an I song. The shit really gets good with cuts like "Hordes of War" and "Norden on Fire" which kick up the grim, atonal riffs and the arctic atmosphere I want from an Immortal album. "Arctic Swarm" is another grim, hard-assed Immortal tune. "Mount North" is pretty cool, but the guitars are a bit too melodic and groovy, but closer "Unearthly Kingdom" is a crushing fistful of ice that reminds me of what is so awesome about this band.

So seven tracks, four killers, and three pretty good tunes. I can't even say the misses are bad, they just don't sound quite cold and evil enough to be Immortal songs. I liked I, but I was its own thing, and it's not Immortal. This album doesn't hold up to At The Heart of Winter, but then not much does. This is not the best album they have made, but it is certainly a worthy addition to the canon. Recommended.

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