Released: 2002, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
"A distant battle raging somewhere in the horizon of the Northern Darkness... armies of armoured warriors being killed One By One... the blood of enemies being shed all over the cold fields of Antarctica... In The Kingdom of the Sons of Northern Darkness... In the Cold Kingdom of the mighty Immortal..."
After one month being spent at Peter Tägtren´s Abyss Studio seemingly has truly paid off for Abbath, Horgh and Iscariah. As a final result, 8 new Immortal songs being recorded for SONS OF NORTHERN DARKNESS, one thing is certain: The guys have been spending hours and hours and again hours for making the songs perfect on S.O.N.D., polishing them over and over again in order to make them sound the way they sound like on this AWESOME Immortal release; THIS JUST IS THEIR YET BEST ALBUM TO DATE!! Seriously!!! Compared to their two previous albums, DAMNED IN BLACK and AT THE HEART OF WINTER, I would say the band has progressed a few milestones in every single department as far as the band´s song writing abilities go. They have got more catchiness, more melody, more stand-out moments, more utter hate and aggressiveness, more lethal weapons - more of everything captured for this monumentally moving Northern Black Metal release. More credibility, too, if a grim band pic will also be on the official edition of SONS. Seems like an utterly evil and some sort of a Northern imago ´bout murderous viking warrior look-alikes still plays an important role in Immortal, but luckily their music is still that stronger element that counts more than anything else around them really. Nevertheless, right off from the vicious opening cut, "One by One", a doorway into the chilly realms of the Immortal -army has been opened once and for all and there´s no turning back; on the other hand, who would want to turn back in the first place when once being faced with this shamelessly-built, muscular atmospheres of a true blackish tour de force. "One by One" contains probably some of the most twisted and ripping guitar lines that Abbath has ever managed to churn out into the up-dated, true 80´s Thrash Metal style. What an excellent piece of work anyway in its fine catchiness and everything. A bravely named album´s title track, "Sons of Northern Darkness" has also this tendency to keep us in that fast & furious road of these Northern sons of darkness for a pleasing moment until we are allowed to take our first, a bit longer breaths in "Tyrants" which is the whole album´s slowest, most epic tune with its creeping and shivering moments yet whereas the next song from that on, "Demonium" is like a mixture from all of the previous three songs on the album, ranging from both "One..." and "Sons..." raging, thunderous moments to more calmer yet chillingly tormenting areas of "Tyrants" in the end.
"Within the Dark Mind" is a mid-tempo song where Abbath´s brilliant axe mastering steals a listener´s attention pretty effortlessly again, keeping a blood-red flame burning for things somewhat epic and atmospheric ´til the song lasts. One of my favorites out of SONS... most definitely.
In my kingdom of "the most well-painted Black Metal songs with the most effective colors ever..." there´s always space left for a song like "In My Kingdom Cold" that keeps on reminding us again ´bout the guys´ determinedly pushed efforts and all the hard work they have sacrificed for the making of the very album. Again, if a sticking catchiness means everything for you as an experienced consumer of this type of blackish metal, then look no further as there´s a plenty of it on offer in this tune; kind of like a perfect proof of all the entertaining and gifted bits within the current genre in Black Metal, it´s all to be found from "In My Kingdom Cold". Easily one of the album´s most captivating and memorable moments are to be witnessed herein - you can mark my words for that in the name of fuckin´ storm of ravens!!!
"Antarctica" basically nails you even firmly into the ice of a sheer greatness that this album holds inside its now explored depths. Brutally marvellous into a distinctive Immortal vein; covered with a necessary amount of melody and irresistible harmonies for what qualities the whole album indeed stands for right from the very beginning - and the closer of this mountain-high, very much epic album, "Beyond the North Waves" with its occasional, Bathory´ish traces from both UNDER THE SIGN OF BLACK MARK - and BLOOD, FIRE, DEATH albums in it, only makes me even more convinced of a full-scale excellency on SONS OF NORTHERN DARKNESS. I could only imagine the guys´ smiling faces, sparkling with a pure contentment when all the feedback out of some sceptically critical pre-listening sessions has started to flow back into both their label´s - Abbath´s & co. direction. I bet they just DO know, SONS OF NORTHERN DARKESS is an album that everyone would like to do and put it out on his/her own label. Mercilessly enviable shit... all the 8 songs on it!!