"March of the Norse"

by Dr. Abner Mality

There's no need for me to hide the fact that I'm a huge Immortal fan. I think their majestic, larger than life Norse epics are some of the most powerful metal songs ever written. I was even blown away by Abbath's side project I, which shared many of the same characteristics of Immortal. So I was most curious to check out this solo album by long-time Immortal associate Demonaz.

"March of the Norse" does indeed share many of the qualities of Immortal and I, but the problem is, it's just too much of the same thing. The lyrical themes are the same, the galloping power riffs are the same and Demonaz's grim croaking is a diminished version of Abbath's. Demonaz's Bathory worship is apparent with the opening "Northern Hymn" which is a dead ringer for the "Viking" period of Bathory...again, that's no sin, as I like Quorthon's project. "All Blackened Sky" takes flight like an eagle in Northern mountain winds...I love this kind of majestic metallic gallop and could listen to it all day. However, that's the best cut on the album.

The brief album follows with many cuts in a similar vein, with "A Son of the Sword" catching my ear the most with its chugging thrash. But after "Where Gods Once Rode", it becomes apparent Demonaz has run out of ideas and just mines the same territory again and again. I was hard pressed to tell any of the last three songs apart, even though individually they're not bad. It's also obvious that Demonaz' vocals just don't have the troll-like power such material demands.

The ultimate result is a listenable album for Immortal fans, but certainly nothing to make them forget the "father" band. With the exception of "All Blackened Sky", this sounds like stuff that didn't make the cut for the last Immortal album.