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4.0 out of 5 stars Triumph for Demonaz, 7 May 2011
Paul McNamee "Rambleast Reviews" (North Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: March Of The Norse (Audio CD)
There's no doubt about it: with Armagedda on drums and Ice Dale handling the guitar work, Demonaz's March Of The Norse sounds an awful lot like I's Between Two Worlds. The songwriting's similar, the production's similar, the lyrical content's similar. Naturally, I'm over the moon.

For you see, curious Amazon metal fan (?), Between Two Worlds (lyrics courtesy of the man in question) is, in my rarely-humble opinion, the best album of 2006 and one of the best five of the last decade. It's no small wonder then that I'm as excited about March Of The Norse being released as I was for Immortal's last opus (2009's admirable All Shall Fall), as it's clear from the opening moments that this album is that's spiritual sequel: as Abbath is Demonaz's 'demon brother', so too are Between Two Worlds and March Of The Norse siblings of metal majesty.

If you've heard that album, you'll know what to expect: pounding rhythm driving remorseless guitar work. Demonaz (whose vocals here aren't a million miles removed from Abbath's, mercifully sparing us from the spectacle of witnessing a talented guitarist failing horribly whilst trying his hand at fronting a record) deals in fierce metal only, and March Of The Norse sees him on top form, crafting furious slabs of icy riffing without a moment wasted on retrospection or rock balladry.

The record opens with "Northern Hymn", a song that does not belie its title. Demonaz's soulfully intoned vocals and a simply strummed acoustic section make the triumphant onslaught of "All Blackened Sky" all the more exciting. If that opening riff wasn't enjoyable enough, the simplicity of the overlaid second melody instantly hits you with the notion that this album is going to be stuck on your, er, music program for some time to come. By the time that second melody is replicated on keyboards and with a viking chorus of voices, you'll feel your purchase has been validated already. As with Between Two Worlds (forgive the constant comparison, but the albums bear such comparison so readily), it is these basic combinations and harmonies that make this music so appealing. It's quite a bit removed from Immortal: the arrangements are less tricky and the playing confidently restrained. With that said, there's a riff that starts not two minutes into that first song proper that could get the Venus De Milo's head banging. So the metal, again, comes in spades (those spades that haven't been filled with the glacial snow of inspirational permafrost, that is).

And again (last time, I swear), as with Between Two Worlds, the best track here is the one with the word mountains in the title. Honestly, "Over The Mountains" is the best album closer that's NOT an album closer I've heard in years. It boasts the best riffs and the most pleasingly victorious fade out in recent memory.

The bonus track "Dying Sun" is less a full song than a nod to the past (it says on the packaging that it was written in 1998): Demonaz doesn't even appear on it. Instead, Dale and Armagedda take us through this slow, plodding collection of riffs that veer from album-outro winding down one moment to Celtic Frost menace the next.

Where it falls a little short of I's masterpiece is in the lack of variety. Naturally, if you like the style on offer you'll be thrilled to bits, but that the songs all sound so similar could put off those in search of an album with more to it. Still, this is a worthwhile effort from Demonaz and has enough Immortal in it to tide fans over to the next album proper, and enough awesome in it to satisfy just about everyone else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding album from Demonaz!!! A++, 9 Jun 2011
This review is from: March Of The Norse (Audio CD)
This album is solid through and through!!! Demonaz has once again created a masterpiece (aside from his usual magic touch with his main outlet: Immortal... His (1st) new solo album: March Of The Norse stands on it's own 100% Yet it is a perfect fit with the Immortal catalogue, as well as "I" release. Horns raised to Demonaz! Cheers! \m/!
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March of the Norse
March of the Norse by Demonaz (Audio CD - 2011)
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