DEMONAZ – March of the Norse [2011]

Album: March of the Norse
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal

DEMONAZ is the solo project of former Immortal guitarist Demonaz Doom Occulta. The debut album is “March of the Norse”, which is due or release 1st April.

“Northern Hymn” is the first track of the album, composed of acoustic guitar riffs and a haunting choir, setting a very tense atmosphere. “All Blackened Sky” comes blasting next, starting with a heavy and brutal guitar riff which is combined with heavy pounding drums. The vocals have a very rough Dimmu Borgir sound to them. The riffs throughout the track repeat themselves, which adds a certain simplistic brilliance to the track. The guitar riffs also have a slightly melodic touch to them. The guitar solo isn’t great but it’s not exactly bad. The title track “March of the Norse” is next. It’s intro riff has a Trivium-gone-black metal sound. The vocals don’t sound powerful on this track, with them being almost over-powered by the guitars and drums. In certain parts of the track, the bass can be heard clearly over the sound of distorted guitars.

The next track is “A Son of the Sword”. Beginning with a brutal intro, which is soon accompanied by a melodic riff, this track all ready sounds to be one of the best tracks on the album. The vocals sound much, much stronger – Matching the guitars and drums for brutality and power. The guitar solo is good, near to perfection. The track ends on a faded out yet brutal note. “Where Gods Once Rode” bursts in next, with a melodic intro which could easily be mistaken for a power metal riff. The vocals are still going strong and the guitar riffs seem to have taken on a more melodic sound for this track. The bass can be heard clearly in sections but the drums seem to be lacking in power and heaviness. There is a use of haunting choir-like vocals when the track turns softer, giving the track a more melancholy sound.

“Under Great Fires” starts with a brutal mix of guitars, drums and vocals.  The track turns melodic for a while before turning soft, though the vocals still stay brutal. The heaviness returns to the track eventually, though the guitars and drums begin to overpower the vocals. The guitar solo is sheer brilliance. After the solo, the vocals come back stronger than before. Disappointingly, the track finishes with an acoustic guitar section. The next track is “Over The Mountains” which enters the fray with a heavy intro riff. The vocals sound too strong for the guitars to compete with in terms of heaviness and brutality. There is a mixture o melodic and brutal riffs throughout the track, giving it a brilliant sound. The track finishes on a faded, melodic note. “Ode To Battle” comes next, composed entirely of choir-like vocals and acoustic guitars – Though the acoustic guitar sounds stronger than the vocals.

“Legends Of Fire And Ice” comes next, bringing a level of brutality and heaviness back to the album with a guitar and drum intro. The vocals sound somewhat raspier than what they have been on the previous tracks. There’s a use of choir-like vocals alongside the main vocals, which adds a very epic element to the track and the guitar solo is mind blowing. This track is clearly the best track on the album. The album finishes on the extra track: “Dying Sun” which begins with a slow yet brutal guitar intro. In sections, the drums leave much to be desired, though the guitars keep things interesting. With each development during in the track, it seems like the vocals will jump in at any moment but unfortunately they don’t.

“March Of The Norse” is undoubtedly one of the best albums that is going to come out of the Norwegian Black Metal for along time. There are parts which have room for improvement but Demonaz clearly hasn’t lost his ability to write black metal anthems. It is, however, strange hearing him perform vocals rather than guitar – Though with this album he could give a lot of vocalists in the black metal scene a run for their money.


Nico Davidson

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