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All Shall Fall

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

All Shall Fall
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: September 25th, 2009
Genre: Black
2. The Rise Of Darkness
3. Hordes To War
4. Norden On Fire
5. Arctic Swarm
6. Mount North
7. Unearthly Kingdom

Review by Felix on July 28, 2023.

A lot of comebacks have failed. If I may take a sideways glance at thrash metal, I almost get sick when thinking of albums like "Mind Over Splatter" (Zoetrope), "Third World Genocide" (Nuclear Assault) or "The Club" (Assassin). Therefore, I was not able to suppress my scepticism when I heard that Immortal intend to return. But my pessimistic tendency was totally unfounded. All Shall Fall turned out to be another masterpiece of Norwegian black metal and it is still one of my favorite albums of this style.

Immortal have once again caught the true spirit of the black genre and I guess it is a matter of course that I am speaking of the second wave of black metal. As might be expected, their approach still has nothing in common with the crude eruptions of early Venom or the nihilistic energy of Hellhammer. The three-piece celebrates its own form of black metal. Its supporting pillars are grimness, vehemence and coldness. I guess that real connoisseurs whisper the word "frostbitten" reverently in order to describe this musical blizzard. I do not dare to protest.

Immortal have a lot of names. They are the "Masters of Nebulah Frost" and belong to the "True Kings of Norway". And of course they are responsible for the winter road clearance in Blashyrkh. Yet first and foremost, the band should be well known for its amazing talent to create anthems that unite catchiness with malignancy and fierceness. Furthermore, I would like to praise their loyalty to the genre. The formation avoids progressive song structures as well as orchestral stagings. Immortal's recipe is simple. They just do what they do best. With reference to All Shall Fall, this way of proceeding results in a handful of new classics.

The album is bursting with energy and dynamism. The windswept melodies lead the listener one more time to the well known kingdoms of darkness, desperation and war. Already the opening title track opens wide the gates to Blashyrkh where the weather-beaten ruins dilapidate under a grey and cloudy sky. But Immortal do not forget to add a certain degree of Northern grandeur. The moderate yet brilliant 'Mount North' puts the focus on this feature. Contrariwise, 'Hordes Of War' shows the bitter face of destruction. The sound of galloping horses and clanging weapons strengthens the archaic appearance of this speedy track. Between these poles lie songs like the uncanny 'The Rise Of Darkness' that convince as well. Irrespective of a brief speed eruption, it is dominated by a mid-tempo rhythm that gives room for the guitar to generate an aura of uncertainty. Do not overlook this jewel. Based on the dense and repellent production, these songs reveal their full potential while leaving the listener no possibility to escape.

There is no doubt that All Shall Fall enriches the complete works of the band, although two songs are slightly weaker. 'Nordens On Fire' is jammed between two highlights and the last track is a typical closer. Both tunes are solid without making my blood boil. Nevertheless, I do not want to miss them. The same goes for the charismatic nagging of Abbath, his ferocious guitar performance and the varied drumming of Horgh. Perhaps this was only a snapshot, but Immortal appear on this album as a well-oiled engine. Zoetrope and all the other guys should have asked the Norwegians how to manage a comeback, before they released their crappy stuff.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10


Review by Kostas on July 28, 2023.

I am pretty sure having to wait seven years for an album is not the most pleasant thing, especially for unpatient fans like me. And of course the anticipation becomes even more unbearable when the last album the band released caused very mixed feelings. However, we can assume it was worth the wait. At least when it comes to Immortal, right? Well, not exactly. Despite the legendary Norwegians choosing an appropriate cover artwork (at last), All Shall Fall kind of ruins hopes.

The first thing I noticed when I started listening to this record was that the band's sound has gained much depth in comparison to past releases. This is partly due to the much better mixing, mastering and general sound quality. In addition, the musicians seem to have spent enough time in composing this time. Most of the songs are well-written with decent introductions and not too long nor too short. Moreover, both Horgh and Abbath are clearly professional with All Shall Fall. This means there are no awkward vocal outbreaks by the notorious singer or uninspired drum lines. Do not ask me about Demonaz, he has once again done a great work with the guitars. The problem with this last guy is in fact his lyrics. For some reason, he seems to be stuck to Blashyrkh and all the relevant, with no text leading anywhere or at least having a deeper meaning.

But, let's talk about the music strictly. The reason All Shall Fall gets such a restricted rating from me is the lack of variety, innovation and in general anything that could give the band a fresh new aura or profile. Most songs are similar to past tracks, just with a better production. Moreover, there is no song in this album that does not sound similar to one another. We are talking about an unparalleled monotony when it comes to melodies. It is almost as if the band started composing tracks using the same metronome every single time. The outcome is the bass lines seeming rather boring, the rifts being nothing new and the drums kind of losing their might due to the rest of the music getting tiring gradually.

In brief, there is nothing in this record you have not heard before by Immortal. It is boring for the most part and lacks essence. Nothing but a dull echo of the glorious days of At The Heart Of Winter. The only people I would suggest this album to would be those who have just started listening to black metal and want to learn how Immortal sound like without having to go through their low quality discography of the past.

Rating: 5.3 out of 10