Immolation - Atonement,
When I saw the artwork for the latest Immolation album I smiled, as this was what I wanted from a death metal band that have been around for nearly thirty years, something that looked like it belonged to the genre. This is their third studio album with Nuclear Blast, and their tenth overall, and singer/bassist Ross Dolan and guitarist Robert Vigna have been there since the very beginning in 1988, while drummer Steve Shalaty has paid his dues, having been there since 2003. However, there has been a line-up change since the last album with Alex Bouks taking the place of Bill Taylor. The last two albums had a very different look, but this feels like it is looking back to times past, as one would expect with the release of a milestone.
Of course, the label is saying this is the best thing they’ve ever done, but as it’s only the third album of theirs that I’ve heard I can’t quite go that far, but I do know that this is superb in every way so it wouldn’t surprise me if many fans aren’t saying just that. It is heavy as hell, the vocals have a presence all their own, the guys lock together as one, and each song is different and shows both restraint and control while kicking at the same time, not an easy thing to accomplish. From the first note to the very last riff, this album delivers on absolutely every level, and the only way to fully appreciate it is by turning it up so much that your neighbours can enjoy it as well. I thought 2013’s ‘Kingdom of Conspiracy’ was superb, but this has taken it to a whole new level. Death metal rarely gets better than this.