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Solid Album - 80%

Play_Different, January 24th, 2012

I just recently discovered Immortal with this record and I really like what I hear here. If you are a black metal elitist or you are a fan of their previous releases, I can understand that you may not like “All Shall Fall”. Their style has evolved, and what we have here is a very well produced, modern black metal album. I heard someone saying that what they do here is more like what Amon Amarth do than proper black metal. I don’t disagree with that. If Amon Amarth were Norwegian blacksters they would probably have this kind of sound but...who cares? This album has the whole package: good production, cool song structures, catchy and interesting riffing, solos in almost every track, and it retains the grim, glacial atmosphere Immortal are famous for.

As I already said, Abbath’s guitar work is pretty good. At first the riffs may seem a bit repetitive, but after the first listen you realize that they are more complex than they appear. Abbath’s soloing is both technical and interesting and even catchy at times. Immortal always had solid acoustic parts and they are no different on this record.

The drums have always been a fundamental part of Immortal's discography, and they keep up with that in this album. Nothing is particularly mind blowing nor extremely fast as they were in “Battles in the North”, just to say, but during the chorus of “All Shall Fall”, it was one of the few times I thought, “Man, the drums are really killer here!”. It’s obvious that they put particular attention in recording and mixing the drums.

It’s hard to tell what the bass is doing since it is almost always mixed out, but that’s an issue very common in metal music.

Concerning the lyrics, there’s nothing really new; they’re always about Blashyrkh, Mighty Ravendark and that kind of stuff, but at least they don’t sing about Satan here and Satan there like most of the other black metal bands do.

One final word about the video of “All Shall Fall”: it is pretty outstanding (Abbath’s moves can be a bit funny at times, but that’s ok since they are a kind of “trademark” of his), especially if compared to the previous ones by Immortal that in the past gifted us with some of the most ridiculous videos of all time (if you want to have a laugh, check “Call Of The Wintermoon” or “Blashyrkh, Mighty Ravendark”. Admit it, they are terrible!).

In conclusion, I personally like this style of “catchy” (non-symphonic) black metal, and I hope Immortal will retain this style in the future, so if you want to try out a “modern” style of black metal, give “All Shall Fall” a spin. If you only like raw “true” Norwegian black metal, you’ll probably want to avoid this record instead.

Highlights: All Shall Fall, Unearthly Kingdom, Norden On Fire.