These guys’ music ages like fine wine. It’s a bit hard to grasp that Immolation are releasing their best music ever after being part of the scene for almost 34 years now, but it’s a fact. To be honest, Immolation have never, ever released a bad album and are one of the bands which have created a unique sound and presence very early in their career. The Yonkers, New York gang have never been neither the most extreme, nor the most technical of their contemporaries from the late 80 – early 90s, but what they have always excelled at is the atmosphere. Immolation, for me, are the absolute masters of creating a totally oppressive, dismal soundscape, which engulfs the listener from the first note and never lets go. Listening to an Immolation album is like opening the gate to the abyss and secretly paying a visit to hell for an hour, before returning to your everyday routine. It’s a bit scary, actually.
Their 11th full length Acts Of God will be out February 18th on Nuclear Blast and the two singles that have been released speak volumes of the strength of the new material. The ability of main composer Robert Vigna (guitars) to add nuance and shade to the assault of brutal riffing is crucial to their sound. The Age Of No Light, Immoral Stain and When Halos Burn are just masterclass in how tempo changes and intricate melodies can enhance and enrich the composition and add a whole new dimension to a style, that is already far beyond the boundaries of the death metal framework. This is the place to address some praise towards the incredible guitar work of Alex Bouks (ex-Incantation). His style is perfectly combined with the trademark stop-start, disharmonic wizardry of Vigna, by adding a bit of classic melody and tone, which just raises songs like Shed The Light, Blooded and especially Derelict Of Spirit to a whole new level.
Steve Shalaty not only destroys on drums, but the percussions on this album can be enjoyed completely on their own. It is obvious that the drum parts have been composed and thought over with attention the last detail and are some of the best in Immolation’s discography. Ross Dolan is a beast, as always, and together with David Vincent and Glen Benton, remains among the ungodly trio with the deepest and at the same time most distinguishable growls in extreme metal. What he does in this album is just inhuman and he deserves even more respect for the crushing bass parts and apocalyptic rhythm section he creates with Shalaty.
Acts Of God has once again been recorded with producer and engineer Paul Orofino, who has been part of the Immolation family since 1999’s Failures For Gods. The sound is absolutely crushing and at the same time rich in texture and depth, making this one of the best recordings I’ve heard in extreme metal for a long time. Eliran Kantor’s striking artwork of angels destroyed by “rays” of darkness complements the music in a great way and demands to be displayed on vinyl. The bands that never disappoint are a rarity nowadays, but Immolation have done it again and have rewarded their fans with another masterpiece that leaves all competition in the dust. Death Metal? No. This is the art of extreme music.
Pre-order Acts Of God from HERE