Immortal – War Against All Review

Yes, Immortal have a long and winding story. Now we’ve got the most recent chapter of it with their newest album release “War Against All” which I am not sure its tittle isn’t some kind of autobiography. As my dear child of the night might know, in August 2020, it was announced that guitarist Demonaz and drummer Horgh – the two founding members of the band with Abbath the other founding member. Well, Horgh not so much of a founding member, but, better a long time member – were involved with a legal dispute over the rights to the band’s name. Demonaz had registered the name with the Norwegian Patent Office as his exclusive trademark in July 2019, which was approved; however, Horgh chose to appeal the registration, and the matter was ruled in his favor, meaning that Demonaz no longer has the exclusive right to the Immortal name. Horgh was unaware of the initial sole registration made by Demonaz.

On October 24th 2022, the band announced that their tenth studio album, “War Against All,” would be released in 2023. It was also revealed that Demonaz was listed as the only member of the band, indicating that he won the dispute of the rights to the band’s name against Horgh. In March 2023, the band released the title track to the album, which was revealed to be coming out on May 26th. According to Nuclear Blast’s press release the record was composed and performed by Demonaz, and features some session members like earlier recordings.

All right with the background info. Though lighter and slower “War Against All” has some features of the good old times pioneer albums. But I guess some die hard fans will disagree with me and will willingly avoid it or, worst, not consider it as an Immortal album which deserve their iconic brand. Well, technically, the album is an outcome of only one pioneer member of the band and it’s very hard to know how much has come from him in the early albums. Of course, when a band is short of so many important members its sonancy changes. Immortal’s changed as a natural result. To some extent, it’s fair to say “War Against All” is a fine product of today’s Black Metal without a shadow of doubt. If that’s good or not I’ll leave to my dear child of the night to have a say.

Exercising my natural curiosity I went to Immortal’s debut album 1992’s “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” to compare both albums and check it out if “War Against All” owed too much to its iconic and immortal – no pun intended – predecessor. The answer is not much. Of course, balancing the 30 years hiatus between them, this album isn’t so pale – no pun intended again – when compared to its shiny predecessor. As I said before, in general, “War Against All” isn’t as fast and striking as “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism,” but it doesn’t get that far from it. In one hand, both album opening and tittle “War Against All” and grand finale “Blashyrkh My Throne” could easily be part of any album from the band’s great past. On the other hand, “Wargod” is a true representation of the modern face of the band with its cadenced NWOBHM guitars. If my dear child of the night isolate vocals from the instrumentals the impression is that it’s a NWOBHM influenced band playing. Bottomline, there are differences as a natural result of the band’s change of masterminds but they don’t count that much.

Immortal “War Against All” will be released on May 26th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Track Listing:

  1. War Against All
  2. Thunders of Darkness
  3. Wargod
  4. No Sun
  5. Return to Cold
  6. Nordlandihr
  7. Immortal
  8. Blashyrkh My Throne

Watch “Wargod” official music video here: