The seventh full-length studio album by legendary Norwegian Black Metal band.
The band's first release on Nuclear Blast Records and the last album to feature Iscariah on bass. Iscariah left the band shortly before the album was released, and the band broke up the following year. They reformed in 2007.
Following the good but not great "Damned In Black", the expectations for "Sons Of Northern Darknesswere" was pretty high, especially that "Damned In Black" could not fully live up to the majestic "At The Heart Of Winter".
Musically, it continues the Blackened Thrash Metal style heard the two previous releases “At the Heart of Winter” and “Damned in Black”.
As the first song starts playing, we immediately realize that "Sons Of Northern Darkness" is no joke. "One by One" jumps into your face with its raw brutality and unexpected speed. Spectacular guitar riffs and outstanding drumming characterize the first few minutes of this album, leaving no doubt that Immortal have put a lot of creative effort into this release.
Right after "One by One," we are treated with one of Immortal's most memorable and beautiful songs: the wonder that is the title track "Sons Of Northern Darkness". Yes, here we have a song that could easily rival the epicness of any songs from the legendary "At The Heart Of Winter": the lyrics as well as the guitar work are very solid. Immortal is back!
This record shows a return to the sound of "At The Heart Of Winter". And after all, why change a formula that shows such success? The album is marked by very creative riffing, irreproachable lyrics and a wonderful atmosphere. A good number of songs are instant classics, with unforgettable choruses ("Tyrants"), epic acoustic passages ("Beyond The North Waves"), and pure Black Metal ("In My Kingdom Cold").
As for the technical aspect of the album, Abbath puts on a truly great performance: his guitar work is without faults and his singing reflects perfectly the Immortal sound. The bass is also well performed. However, what deserves the biggest mention is the drumming: Horgh shows beyond any doubt that he is still one of the best in the Black Metal scene: his work transpires creativity and execution, and of course speed.
Hands down, "Sons Of Northern Darkness" is a great release and a wonderful piece of art! If you are just remotely interested in Black Metal, get this album, for it is a grand display of Black, Epic and Atmospheric Metal, coming from the sons of northern darkness themselves!!
Nuclear Blast GmbH, 2002 (NB 612-2 / 27361 66122). Made in Germany. First press.
1. One by One 05:00
2. Sons of Northern Darkness 04:47
3. Tyrants 06:18
4. Demonium 03:57
5. Within the Dark Mind 07:31
6. In My Kingdom Cold 07:17
7. Antarctica 07:12
8. Beyond the North Waves 08:06
Total playing time: 50:08