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IMMOLATION - Acts Of God cover
4.54 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2022

Filed under Death Metal


1. Abandoned (1:08)
2. An Act of God (4:04)
3. The Age of No Light (3:39)
4. Noose of Thorns (5:12)
5. Shed the Light (3:37)
6. Blooded (3:15)
7. Overtures of the Wicked (3:44)
8. Immoral Stain (4:03)
9. Incineration Procession (3:47)
10. Broken Prey (3:03)
11. Derelict of Spirit (4:12)
12. When Halos Burn (3:08)
13. Let the Darkness In (3:28)
14. And the Flames Wept (1:38)
15. Apostle (4:17)

Total Time 52:15


- Ross Dolan / Bass, Vocals
- Robert Vigna / Guitars
- Steve Shalaty / Drums
- Alex Bouks / Guitars

About this release

Nuclear Blast
CD, Vinyl, Digital
Released 18th Feb 2022

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition


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If there’s one band above all others in the death metal sub-genre you can always rely on to deliver the goods it’s Immolation. Eleven albums in and they’re still showing no signs of running out of steam. An early high point in their career was the highly rated Close To A World Below, regarded by many to be their best album. I’d find it hard to disagree though they have equalled it at least a couple of times since – Majesty and Decay and last album Atonement. Even the rest have not been far off the mark. Acts Of God comes five years after Atonement, the longest we’ve ever had to wait for a new album. I never doubted that it wouldn’t be brilliant and fortunately my faith has been rewarded.

Acts Of God may not contain any surprises – its Immolation just doing what they’re so good at and as long as the songs are great then that’s all I ask and want from them. After the short intro of Abandoned things really kick off with An Act Of God and there’s no mistaking who we’re listening to. All the recognisable Immolation hallmarks are in place – the dissonant guitar riffs from the master of dissonance Robert Vigna, aided by Alex Bouks for the second time. There’s Ross Dolan’s low guttural growl and thundering bass and Steve Shalaty’s constantly shifting rhythmic virtuosity. The sound is a bit sharper this time round which doesn’t mean better as I’m not impartial to a bit of murk, but it does enable each player’s contributions to be clearly heard. Whilst they hit a peak in the second half of the album with a relentless barrage of inventive riffing that never lets up, the first half contains gems like Noose Of Thorns and Shed The Light ensuring the high benchmark the band set themselves is never lowered. Robert Vigna’s prowess with the dissonant riff is well documented but I must mention again Steve Shalaty’s jaw dropping drumming here. He’s long been one of my favourites in the death metal arena but here he seems to have found a new level. He can lay down speedy blastbeats as required but it’s all the twists and turns and syncopated parts and fills he drops in, often on the slower sections, that really catch your attention. At 52 minutes Acts Of God is quite long but such is the quality of these songs it doesn’t feel like it.

Overall Acts Of God is another masterpiece of death metal from Immolation up there with their best albums. An almost perfect album that is currently and very likely to remain my album of the year. The only thing stopping me from giving it the full 5 stars is the first half as a whole doesn’t quite match the second but the difference is very slim. Oh sod it, I'm nitpicking, 5 stars it is, you couldn't really ask for a better album than this and it gets better each time!
siLLy puPPy
Death metal sure has come a long way since the days of Death and Morbid Angel having shocked the world with their blitzkrieg metal attacks that yanked the genre out of the thrashers mosh pit. Once the death metal nuclear bomb was detonated, the entire world has experienced the fallout as the style has literally irradiated every conceivable nook and cranny of the globe. The 90s was truly the golden years of the old school stylistic approach before bands like Gorguts started to get all weird on everyone. IMMOLATION was one of those pioneers of the new wave death metal stylistic approach that retained that old school death metal bravado purity while capturing the more dissonant and atonal sounds that would eventually branch off into countless directions.

Formed in Yonkers, New York all the way back in 1988, IMMOLATION has been very conservative in its 32 year existence by not saturating the market with its killer riff crushing brutality and now in 2022 is only releasing its 11th album ACTS OF GOD a long five years after its previous “Atonement.” It’s the second album in a row with the current lineup of Ross Dolan (bass, vocals), Robert Vigna (guitars), Steve Shalaty (drums) and newest member Alex Bouks (guitars). Despite the same lineup as “Atonement,” IMMOLATION has abandoned some of the more experimental approaches of the last decade and gone back to the no nonsense style that made albums like “Dawn of Possession,” “Close to a World Below” and “Unholy Cult” classics of the genre.

Despite its long existence and having become godfathers of the death metal world, IMMOLATION has remained one of the most consistent bands in the biz with one brutal display of misanthropic darkened heavy rage-fest after another and shows no signs of letting up with its latest release ACTS OF GOD which cranks out 15 tracks of riff abuse in one of the band’s lengthiest outputs with a running time of over 52 minutes. The recipe is nothing new under the sun however. The short intro “Abandoned” introduces an atmospheric bleakness before “An Act of God” lashes out in an agonizing angst that finds slightly dissonant guitar riffage rampaging and accompanied by the secondary guitar wizardry with bass and percussive bombast. While “Atonement” felt as if it were going a little soft with more of an old school Autopsy sound, ACTS OF GOD reintroduces a no nonsense brutality that old school death metal delivered so well.

While a bit retro sounding compared to some of the more adventurous sci-fi leaning contemporary bands, sometimes a bit of old fashioned is exactly what the doctor ordered and IMMOLATION continues to deliver its precision driven parade of musical competence like few others have succeeded in maintaining over a 30 year career. Graced with an incessant flow of varying guitar riffage delivered in mid to frenetically fast tempos, IMMOLATION’s latest finds itself in good form simply because the aural assault of the guitars, bass, drums and infamous guttural growls work so well in tandem in how they ebb and flow at breakneck speeds, through subtle variations all the while delivering not only an eerie abstractness but just enough of a melodic flow to wrap your head around. Add to that a modern production which longtime producer Paul Orofino masters perfectly with a balance between old school classic sounds with a modern sheen brought to life in the digital age.

I guess i’m with the many that find these brutal death metal attacks more effective when the release is on the shorter side as the album does feel a tad too long but too much of an IMMOLATION attack is hardly a bad thing and there are really no down moments on this one. Sure this band may not be reinventing the wheel or taking the tech death thing to new horizons but with a classic sound that never seems to get stale i can’t possibly imagine why they would want to. Despite the band having reached its third decade in existence, founding members Vigna and Dolan seem to have found access to that eternal flame that has gifted them mortality as there are no signs of burnout on ACTS OF GOD. Yet another release which keeps this class act high on my favorite metal bands list.

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