March of the Norse

I love the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. Being stuck on repeat, so to speak, is an entertaining premise. The film really works, however, because within that framework of repetition, the main character finds a way to vary the program. So, each day, much as it’s similar to the one before, is different enough to be engaging for the audience.

Bear with me: Immortal founder Demonaz’s first album, March Of The Norse, is like the aforementioned movie but without the important aspect of “variation within the formula.” With the exception of the acoustic opener, “Northern Hymn,” and the few-and-far-between passages that diverge slightly from the path, this is one song repackaged eight times. Seriously—not only are the eight full tunes all based on the same triplet groove (played admirably by Enslaved’s Ice Dale on guitars and bass and original Immortal drummer Armagedda), but they’re all in the same damn key and are played at virtually the same tempo! Listen to track two, “All Blackened Sky” and enjoy it… not only because it’s a solid track with the flavor of Immortal and, at the same time, a bit of an individual stamp, but also because it’s all you’re going to get. Everything that follows is a carbon copy. Yes, there’s a guitar solo here or a quiet passage there, but really, there’s very little to distinguish one track from the next. In fact, you can choose to check out a sample from any track—2 through 9—and you’ll get the flavor of the whole.

So, here’s the dilemma: does an Immortal fan settle for the charms of this very narrow formula and think, “Hey, I don’t mind hearing the same song eight times in a row,” or does he wish that this legendary figure had done more with his first solo outing, that he had demonstrated not only that he can recreate the appeal of “his main band” but also that he can mix things up enough to create something really special?

Actually, that’s not much of a dilemma at all: I’m sure to give this an occasional spin, but chances are I’ll set my player on “random” and not notice any difference between that and listening to March Of The Norse in sequence.

And that’s a disappointment, one that I’ll hope to brush aside when the next Immortal album comes out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Donald Kyle
June 16th, 2011


  1. Commented by: Cryogenic Husk

    Total agreement. I found the record to be rather boring. After realizing the album is the same formula over and over again, I’m tempted to say the coolest thing about the record is the cover art.

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    This was zzzzzz inducing. the other Immortal offshoot, I was way better

  3. Commented by: Timmy

    This album is a classic.

  4. Commented by: vugelnox

    I agree with Erik. This is a dud and even less interesting than Immortal’s last album.

  5. Commented by: DK777

    Cryogenic Husk: in all of my disappointment, I forgot to mention the cover art, which CERTAINLY IS the most interesting aspect of this album…

    So, I agree with you—and I’m really sorry that we’re both right about the most engaging thing about Demonaz’s solo debut!!!

  6. Commented by: Storm King

    Every time I look at the title of this CD I read it as “March of the Nose.” Which might have made an interesting album. This is pretty dull; when you can hit random and not realize what song you’re on, you got a problem.

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