Immortal
All Shall Fall


3.0
good

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
September 24th, 2009 | 117 replies | 25,643 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All Shall Fall is a beautiful return for fans of Immortal's previous works, but when tested in terms of creativity, their comeback album treads water

When one first listens to All Shall Fall for the first time, it strikes uncanny resemblances to Immortal’s previous full-length album Sons Of Northern Darkness. So it seems that over the course of seven years since Sons… was released that our friends Abbath and Horgh haven’t really progressed at all, instead going for a sound which all of their fans are comfortable with, a sound which really hasn’t changed at all since their most famous album Pure Holocaust. While the songwriting hasn’t progressed, it has been tightened up and cleaned around the edges. The melodies feel more epic, the drums are produced with a heavier low-end, the lyrics are even more grim and frostbitten, and Immortal is still, well, the same old goofy Immortal.

If you have heard 2002’s Sons Of Northern Darkness, than you have already heard All Shall Fall. The formula of success for Immortal once again shines through with lengthy, similar-sounding tracks which embrace some of the clichés of the genre while casting others aside. Overall, the production of the album is solid as a rock, every instrument (including bass) is clearly audible at all times, which is a welcome relief from the tendency for black metal bands nowadays to bring progression to a halt in favor of the same raw, intentionally under produced sound of the early 1990’s. The theatrics of Abbath and Horgh are also back with the addition of bassist Apollyon, this time not in the form of an embarrassing album cover featuring the band in awkward poses, but in the familiar pretentious song titles and lyrics which convey all that is black metal (namely winter, the north, and battles long ago).

The majority of the guitar department is really just re-hashed riffs which sound remarkably similar and nearly always move at the typical face-melting pace. The heavy use of tremolo picking makes each riff sound sinister and evil, sometimes breaking for a slower, more crushing bridge, but it’s hard to get over the fact that absolutely nothing new is introduced into Immortal’s sound. However, the beauty comes in the small moments when Abbath works in some mellow acoustic interludes and multiple guitar solos which fit the lightning-quick pace of the songwriting, utilizing a lot of tapping for a melodic overtone while still keeping the “shred, shred, shred” attitude present.

It’s nice to see that Immortal’s distinctive sound is kept alive and well, though, because when the album wants to be epic, it achieves that and more. Often, songs build toward an epic peak which lets itself loose in the form of one of the many impressive guitar solos which I mentioned earlier. This is a tactic which works well in getting the listener to really get into the music, making All Shall Fall fairly accessible for a black metal album. All Shall Fall isn’t an album which you will only play every once in a while, and it’s really easy to just listen to one track. I’d say this accessibility is the best part of the album, because it’s fairly simple to get into, yet it isn’t a completely enthralling album which requires all of your attention.

Throughout the album, there are moments where one wonders what Immortal would sound like if they took a step back and re-evaluated their sound. The longer songs here are definitely the best, with the title track “All Shall Fall”, “Norden On Fire”, and “Unearthly Kingdom” defining the album with their majestic leads and typical Immortal vocals. Abbath doesn’t change a thing with his delivery, something which can either be taken as a return to form or unwillingness to evolve. The rest of album contains a lot of filler which can be viewed as a safe, uneventful way of getting back into the swing of things. No song here is bad, each one has its own high and low points, it’s just that on many tracks the good and bad mix together far too often to bring anything rewarding out of the experience.

Seven years is quite a while between albums, especially for a band which had been consistently putting out new material every year or two from 1992 until 2002. While All Shall Fall is a good album, it will most likely fall into the realm of Immortal’s other, less praised albums like Damned In Black or Battles In The North given a few months. For now, though, it is reassuring for fans that their favorite Norwegian gentlemen are back to wreak havoc on a dying scene, it’s just too early to tell whether their revival will fizzle out in a few years, or whether Immoral will continue with their sound of “grim and frostbitten” black metal. Until then, All Shall Fall will mark a triumphant in spirit, albeit average and uninspired musically, return for Immortal to the world scene.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe I was expecting too much, but I found this album really to be nothing great, just pretty good.

XulOnerom
September 24th 2009



1818 Comments


I really liked SONT. If it's more of the same, maybe it won't be that bad. I'll give this a listen

XulOnerom
September 24th 2009



1818 Comments


BTW, I wanted the album cover to be another ridiculous pic of the band

Zip
September 24th 2009



5312 Comments


where the hell is this? I couldn't find it I swear to god

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you liked SOND, then you will definitely like this, it's just a question of how much you will like it.

Waior
September 24th 2009



11425 Comments


an embarrassing album cover featuring the band in awkward poses


the only thing i was looking forward to, personally

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's probably the last unique thing this band had going for them, nobody in the world can take goofier band pictures than Immortal.

BallsToTheWall
September 24th 2009



44164 Comments


Ist 1st krieg?

Carnifex
September 24th 2009



1918 Comments


Album was bland compared to Sons or Damned.

XulOnerom
September 24th 2009



1818 Comments


Damned In Black was awesome, I don't know why is so unappreciated

fireaboveicebelow
September 24th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I should listen to damned in black again, but this was just another immortal record, though the last song is great

Carnifex
September 24th 2009



1918 Comments


Damned was the first good Immortal album imo, Sons ices the cake. This album just kinda sits somewhere off to the side, it's not that it's bad... it's just nothing special.

Lunarfall
September 24th 2009



3179 Comments


there will be no comparison to SoND

Phantom
September 24th 2009



8930 Comments


sucking on norwegian dicks?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hahahahha

fireaboveicebelow
September 24th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sucking on norwegian dicks?
that gave an image of pure white snow dicks what the hell they arent painted all over are they

Phantom
September 24th 2009



8930 Comments


no, they just do the faces and penii

Tyler
Emeritus
September 24th 2009



7928 Comments


meh they've been going downhill for a while

OllieS
September 24th 2009



2029 Comments


Great review

Relinquished
September 24th 2009



24439 Comments


I agree with coke



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