While IMMORTAL has been enjoying their success, songwriter Demonaz Doom Occulta has been in the background with IMMORTAL with riffs and lyrics, as well as writing his own material. Not surprisingly, March of the Norse sounds like a combination of IMMORTAL and IMMORTAL’s side project, I. The biggest and most obvious influence on this album however, is definitely BATHORY. Demonaz wrote all the music and does all the vocals on the album, but he recruits some familiar faces to perform on the album – Ice Dale (ENSLAVED, I) on guitars/bass and Armagedda (ex-IMMORTAL, I) on drums, respectively.
The acoustic guitars in “Northern Hymn” would make the late Quorthon smile, and the first few epic riffs from “All Blackened Sky” has BATHORY 101 written all over it. Armagedda’s simplistic drumming is a fitting and flattering tribute as his beats are calculated and precise behind the music. The title track and “Where Gods Once Rode” seem like tracks that were written to be played live at huge festivals like Wacken or Summer Breeze for large audiences to headbang to in unison.
“A Son of the Sword” can easily be mistaken as an IMMORTAL song, as the riffing style and notes are similarly found on IMMORTAL’s Sons of Northern Darkness album. Melodic solos and catchy riffs are featured throughout the album, and are specifically showcased in “Under the Great Fires” and the amazing closer, “Legends of Fire and Ice.”
As a whole, March of the Norse is an excellent album to sing along or drink to, and Demonaz has emulated BATHORY brilliantly, both as a sign of respect, and for nostalgia purposes. Hopefully, DEMONAZ puts out more material, because March of the Norse gives newer IMMORTAL a run for their money. (Nuclear Blast Records)