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Immolation is a death metal band from Yonkers, New York. They were formed in 1986 as Rigor Mortis. The name was changed to Immolation in late 1987, between the "Warriors of Doom" demo which was done as Rigor Mortis and "Demo I" which was done as Immolation. The band got a deal with Roadrunner Records and released their debut album Dawn of Possession through them. They were dropped by the label when the label dropped nearly all of the death metal bands. Later, they were picked up by Metal Blade Records and released the three succeeding albums through them. After the second one Here in After, drummer Craig Smilowski left the band and was replaced by Alex Hernandez who immediately boosted the technical proficiency of the band as a whole. The most recent two albums were released by Listenable Records. Unholy Cult saw the departure of guitarist Thomas Wilkinson. And read more...
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IMMOLATION Discography

IMMOLATION albums / top albums

IMMOLATION Dawn of Possession album cover 3.79 | 18 ratings
Dawn of Possession
Death Metal 1991
IMMOLATION Here in After album cover 3.60 | 16 ratings
Here in After
Death Metal 1996
IMMOLATION Failures for Gods album cover 3.97 | 11 ratings
Failures for Gods
Death Metal 1999
IMMOLATION Close to a World Below album cover 4.00 | 19 ratings
Close to a World Below
Death Metal 2000
IMMOLATION Unholy Cult album cover 4.05 | 12 ratings
Unholy Cult
Death Metal 2002
IMMOLATION Harnessing Ruin album cover 3.87 | 10 ratings
Harnessing Ruin
Death Metal 2005
IMMOLATION Shadows in the Light album cover 3.75 | 10 ratings
Shadows in the Light
Death Metal 2007
IMMOLATION Majesty and Decay album cover 3.90 | 16 ratings
Majesty and Decay
Death Metal 2010
IMMOLATION Kingdom Of Conspiracy album cover 3.89 | 11 ratings
Kingdom Of Conspiracy
Death Metal 2013
IMMOLATION Atonement album cover 4.46 | 12 ratings
Death Metal 2017
IMMOLATION Acts Of God album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Acts Of God
Death Metal 2022


IMMOLATION A Day Of Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Day Of Death
Death Metal 1991
IMMOLATION Breaking barriers Vol. 5 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Breaking barriers Vol. 5
Death Metal 1991
IMMOLATION Hope and Horror album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hope and Horror
Death Metal 2007
IMMOLATION Providence album cover 3.88 | 8 ratings
Death Metal 2011
IMMOLATION Gathered At The Altar Of Blast album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gathered At The Altar Of Blast
Death Metal 2018

IMMOLATION live albums

IMMOLATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

IMMOLATION Demo I album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Demo I
Death Metal 1988
IMMOLATION Demo II album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Demo II
Death Metal 1989
IMMOLATION 1994 Promotional Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1994 Promotional Demo
Death Metal 1994

IMMOLATION re-issues & compilations

IMMOLATION Stepping on Angels... Before Dawn album cover 2.88 | 4 ratings
Stepping on Angels... Before Dawn
Death Metal 1995

IMMOLATION singles (4)

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Death Metal 2016
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Failures for Gods
Death Metal 2020
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Death Metal 2020
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I Feel Nothing
Death Metal 2021

IMMOLATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

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Bringing Down the World
Death Metal 2004


IMMOLATION Failures for Gods

Album · 1999 · Death Metal
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"Failures for Gods" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in June 1999 and it´s the second release of a three-album deal on the label. Since "Here in After (1996)" there´s been one lineup change as drummer Craig Smilowski has been replaced by Alex Hernandez who came from a stint with Fallen Christ. The remaining part of the lineup are Ross Dolan (Bass, Vocals), Thomas Wilkinson (Lead & Rhythm Guitars), and Robert Vigna (Lead & Rhythm Guitars).

Stylistically the material on the 8 track, 40:19 minutes long album continue the brutal, blasphemous/anti-Christian themed, and rather twisted death metal sound of it´s predecessor. Already this early on Immolation had a distinct and consistent sound, but still with a creative songwriting approach. So while the overall sound of "Failures for Gods" doesn´t differ much from the sound of "Here in After (1996)", Immolation have made just enough little changes to their style, to continue intriguing the listener.

Immolation generally don´t produce accessible hook laden music, and you have to be in the mood for a murky, brutal, and sometimes dissonant type of death metal, to be able to appreciate what they are doing. Many spins later it will be obvious to most though how unique Immolation really are, and given enough spins the tracks also begin to stand out amidst the murky brutality. Some of the highlights of the album include "No Jeses, No Beast" and "The Devil I know" (the closing minutes are epic), but "Failures for Gods" is a consistent high quality release.

"Failures for Gods" features a sound production, which takes a bit getting used to. Upon initial listens I was personally appalled by the unnatural sounding triggered bass drum sound, which to my ears made very little sense compared to the otherwise dark and murky soundscape. After having listened to the album more over the years, it´s become apparent to me that the bass drum sound was chosen to make the hits stand out in the gloomy soundscape, and while they still sound unnatual to my ears, I´ve learned to embrace them.

The musicianship is on a high level, and although the drums are triggered and far som organic sounding, Hernandez playing makes the music feel organic anyway. The guitar riffs are quite create although still rooted in tremolo picked old school death metal riffing, and lead vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan has a brutal and effective growling vocal style. So "Failures for Gods" is upon conclusion another high quality death metal release by Immolation and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

IMMOLATION Here in After

Album · 1996 · Death Metal
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"Here in After" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in February 1996 and it´s the successor to "Dawn of Possession" from 1991. In those days 5 years between albums was a very long recording break, but Immolation were dropped by Roadrunner Records (along with quite a few other death- and thrash metal acts) before they were able to release a follow-up to the debut. It took quite a few years to find a new label, but eventually Metal Blade Records signed Immolation for a three-album deal. In the meantime Repulse Records took the opportunity to release the "Stepping on Angels... Before Dawn (1995)" compilation, which features both demo tracks by Rigor Mortis (the band´s original name) and Immolation, and live tracks by the latter mentioned.

Stylistically the music on "Here in After" continues the dark and brutal death metal style of it´s predecessor. The blashemous/anti-christian lyrical themes are also in place, which songtitles like "Burn with Jesus", "Away from God", and "Christ´s Cage", are a testament to. The music is technically well played with a decent amount of tempo changes, brutal and mostly unintelligible growling vocals, and an almost complete lack of anything resembling a melody. In that regard the music is completely uncompromising. But then again you don´t listen to an Immolation album to find something to hum along to, but rather to listen to something dark, twisted, and brutal. When that is said, there are memorable parts here and there, but it takes time and repeated listens before they settle.

"Here in After" is well produced. Powerful, dark, and mean sounding, which is a sound which suits the music perfectly. So overall the 5 year recording break was worth it. I wouldn´t say "Here in After" is a better release than "Dawn of Possession (1991)", but it´s about equal in quality and another great album in the band´s discography. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

IMMOLATION Harnessing Ruin

Album · 2005 · Death Metal
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It just goes to show how important it is how you listen to your music. Until recently Harnessing Ruin was the only Immolation album not in my collection. I always intended to get it one day for completions sake but until I finally bought it I’d only ever heard it on the computer through crappy speakers or headphones and felt it to be one of their less essential albums. Having had the opportunity to crank it up on a good Hi-Fi, it proved to be a revelation with the sound really opening up and my opinion has changed considerably.

Released in 2005 it was on the tails of two of Immolations most highly regarded albums – Close To a World Below and Unholy Cult. Whilst it doesn’t reach the heights of those two classics it‘s more than a worthy follow up. By Immolation standards at least it’s a bit of an easier listen for the uninitiated than the last two, though of course this being immolation we’re talking relatively speaking. Whilst the sound here is generally a bit denser and muddier and there’s still plenty of their trademark dissonance on display but musically its slightly more melodic and accessible. Robert Vigna still manages to conjure up some incredible off the wall riffs aided by second guitarist Bill Taylor with new drummer Steve Shalaty, who remains with them to this day, filling Alex Hernandez’s shoes admirably as he lays the foundations for all the rhythmic twists and turns you’d expect from these death metal geniuses. Ross Dolan’s low register growl is another instantly recognisable factor, his bass is more felt than to the fore but none the worse for it. Whilst there are no particular stand out tracks it’s a measure of overall quality than weakness and it’s fair to say that in a career that goes back to the early nineties they have yet to release a bad album.

Harnessing Ruin still wouldn’t make my favourites list of Immolation albums but it is up against some pretty stiff competition and whilst not the best place to start in exploring them (for that why not try latest release Atonement) is more than worth a listen.

IMMOLATION Dawn of Possession

Album · 1991 · Death Metal
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Immolation’s debut album is yet another one of those essential old school death metal albums, at least according to death metal playlist makes on YouTube. As it was also one of the more expensive albums, I initially considered purchasing something from their highly rated later releases; however, while listening to bits and pieces of songs on YouTube, I felt the atonal guitar leads were too much like out of key instead of a cool effect. This may have been my impression because I was listening to the songs on my iPhone while cleaning up my children’s playroom.

The music on this album is interesting in the scope of American death metal of the early nineties. The death metal movement is generally said to have emerged in Florida and it has become my impression that those bands grew out of the thrash metal scene, with some exceptions like Obituary sounding more influenced by Celtic Frost. Immolation, who are from Yonkers, NY (if Wikipedia is to be trusted) play a much more technical style with tight, complex riffing mixed in with more standard, speedy riffs. The music in any one song shifts and changes, the drums moving along almost with the guitars rather than maintaining a steady beat. The use of double bass drumming is also more in sync with the guitars than simple, standard pummeling. As for the atonal lead guitar, hearing it in the headphones it sounds great, perfectly suited to the wild ride that is the music.

Vocalist Ross Dolan eschews the thrashy bark and growl of many Floridian bands and instead delivers the lyrics in a deep, breathy, back-of-the-throat rumbling regurgitation of air. His vocal style is similar to that of Cryptopsy’s Lord Worm except that the lyrics are at times comprehensible in contrast to Lord Worm’s vocalizations which sound more like a foreign and beastly language.

Taken song by song, each track is packed with heavy guitar riffs that gallop and twist, crazy drumming, and Dolan’s dragon-belly vocals. To me though, this album is easy to play through without hearing the subtle differences that distinguish one song from another. Part of the reason is that every song is comprised of the same sonic moves. There are no acoustic breaks, no stand-alone awesome riffs, no atmospheric parts. Each song just delves straight into the thunderous sound, different versions of the same demon dance. Another reason for the seemingly repetitive approach to the music is the production. The quality is no exactly dense, nor is it shoddy, but each of the instruments and vocals sound compacted into a warm, dark ball of sound. It would be easy to brush of the album as having little variety and therefore concluding that it gets old quickly. But each time I listen carefully to any one track, I feel I may have found the one stand out track on the album. So, basically, we are looking at an album of awesome songs with an awesome playing style that could be easily misunderstood as having little depth or breadth.

I’ll be looking into Immolation’s catalogue further with the hopes of hearing a better produced album that still delivers the same tight and technical performance.


Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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"Atonement" is the 10th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in February 2017. It´s the successor to "Kingdom Of Conspiracy" from 2013 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Bill Taylor has left Immolation. He has not been replaced on "Atonement", which was therefore recorded as a three-piece with Robert Vigna handling all guitars. A 10th album release is always an anniversary release of sorts and Immolation celebrate their achivement with bringing their old logo back on the front cover of the album. A logo which hasn´t graced an Immolation album since "Here in After"(1996).

Not much else have changed though, and "Atonement" is unmistakably the sound of Immolation. Deep growling vocals, which are only partially intelligible, twisted intricate and often dissonant riffs (and some brilliant lead guitar work), varied and adventurous drumming, and a bleak occult atmosphere. While Immolation haven´t moved far from their starting point in terms of changing their core sound, quite a few compositional developments have happened since they released their debut full-length studio album "Dawn of Possession" back in 1991. So while Immolation are definitely an old school death metal act to the bone, they have still challenged themselves and their audience by incorporating dissonance and twisted unconventional riffs and rhythms to their music.

The material on the 11 track, 44:34 minutes long album is generally of high quality, and while the album occasionally feels a bit one-dimensional in style, and especially the monotone vocals enhance that feeling, "Atonement" is overall an intriguing and entertaining release. Some tracks stand out more than others (it´s like the first part of the album stand out a bit more than the latter part of the album), and Immolation are best when they try new compositional ideas like they do on tracks like "Fostering the Divide" and "Rise the Heretics", and least interesting when they deliver more "run of the mill" material, like they occasionally do on the latter part of the album. It´s intriguing high quality death metal, but unfortunately a bit of a one-dimensional listening experience over the course of a full album. It´s actually not meant as negative as it may sound, but when you hear the best material from "Atonement" and compare it to the least interesting tracks featured on the album, you just know Immolation could have done slightly better on some tracks. It may be a harsh criticism given the high quality of the material, but when you are as groundbreaking and unique as Immolation are, it obligates, and therefore expectations to their releases are always very high.

"Atonement" features a powerful, gritty, and raw sound production, which to my ears is an upgrade from the more clear and "polished" sounding production on "Kingdom Of Conspiracy (2013)". Not that the sound production on the predecessor was of bad quality or anything like that, but personally I think a more dark and gritty sound production suits Immolation´s music better. The drums could have prospered from a more dark and organic sound, but it´s a minor issue, and probably an aquired taste anyway. So upon conclusion "Atonement" is yet another high quality release by Immolation. It´s not an album which will win over those who haven´t enjoyed the band´s preceding releases, but it´s sure to please the regular fanbase and it´s as good a starting point as any for new listeners. A 4 star (80%) rating is well deserved.

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