IMMOLATION

Death Metal • United States
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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 3.83 | 22 ratings
Dawn of Possession
Death Metal 1991
IMMOLATION Here in After album cover 3.71 | 22 ratings
Here in After
Death Metal 1996
IMMOLATION Failures for Gods album cover 4.11 | 15 ratings
Failures for Gods
Death Metal 1999
IMMOLATION Close to a World Below album cover 4.10 | 25 ratings
Close to a World Below
Death Metal 2000
IMMOLATION Unholy Cult album cover 4.13 | 17 ratings
Unholy Cult
Death Metal 2002
IMMOLATION Harnessing Ruin album cover 3.93 | 14 ratings
Harnessing Ruin
Death Metal 2005
IMMOLATION Shadows in the Light album cover 3.71 | 14 ratings
Shadows in the Light
Death Metal 2007
IMMOLATION Majesty and Decay album cover 3.98 | 20 ratings
Majesty and Decay
Death Metal 2010
IMMOLATION Kingdom Of Conspiracy album cover 4.00 | 15 ratings
Kingdom Of Conspiracy
Death Metal 2013
IMMOLATION Atonement album cover 4.50 | 16 ratings
Atonement
Death Metal 2017
IMMOLATION Acts Of God album cover 4.54 | 12 ratings
Acts Of God
Death Metal 2022

IMMOLATION EPs & splits

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 4.33 | 3 ratings
Hope and Horror
Death Metal 2007
IMMOLATION Providence album cover 3.86 | 10 ratings
Providence
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 2.89 | 5 ratings
Stepping on Angels... Before Dawn
Death Metal 1995

IMMOLATION singles (4)

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Immolation
Death Metal 2016
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Failures for Gods
Death Metal 2020
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Apostle
Death Metal 2020
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0.00 | 0 ratings
I Feel Nothing
Death Metal 2021

IMMOLATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Bringing Down the World
Death Metal 2004

IMMOLATION Reviews

IMMOLATION Unholy Cult

Album · 2002 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Unholy Cult" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Listenable Records in October 2002. It´s the successor to "Close to a World Below" from 2000 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Thomas Wilkinson has been replaced by Bill Taylor.

Stylistically you´ll find very few surprises if you are familiar with the last couple of albums by Immolation. The music style is still pitch black blasphemous/anti-christian themed death metal featuring twisted dissonant riffs, brutal growling vocals, creative drumming, and generally just a very different take on old school death metal. Immolation employ very few "regular" power chords, and they create a rather unpleasant claustrophobic sound. Even among fans of death metal the unconventional riffs and rhythm patterns may be an aquired taste. Sometimes it almost feels like the music is being played backwards and you experience an odd "being sucked into the abyss" feeling.

As a result of how the album is produced "Unholy Cult" is actually one of Immolation´s more "accessible" releases though. While some of the predecessors feature more dense, dark, and murky sound productions, "Unholy Cult" features a sound production where every instrument is audible in the mix at all times. It´s still a raw and brutal sounding production, but sligthly less challenging than what came before. That can´t be said for the actual music though, which is still as technically well played and adventurous as ever.

Immolation are masters of their craft, and one of the few death metal acts with an original sound. It can be argued that "Unholy Cult" is just another album in a very similar style and quality to the last many albums by the band, and that argument would as such be valid enough, but on the other hand there´s also a quality in consistency if you keep producing high quality material, and that is certainly the case when it comes to Immolation. So as mentioned above expect few surprises if you´re familiar with Immolation´s signature sound, but also expect unique sounding old school death metal of the highest caliber. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

IMMOLATION Close to a World Below

Album · 2000 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Close to a World Below" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in November 2000 and it´s the third release of a three-album deal with the label. It´s the successor to "Failures for Gods" from 1999 and features the same four-piece lineup who recorded the predecessor.

On "Close to a World Below" Immolation continue to refine their occult/blasphemous themed death metal and it sounds like the natural successor to "Failures for Gods (1999)". Which means in many ways it uses many of the same musical elements and songwriting ideas of the predecessor, but twist them just enough to ensure that the listener can hear the difference between the two albums and feel that there has been development between the two releases. So "Close to a World Below" is an album featuring heavy and twisted dissonant guitar riffs and leads, busy and creative drumming, and the distinct sounding growling vocals by Ross Dolan. It´s not easilly accessible death metal (if such a thing exists) and it can be quite chaotic sounding and does not rely much on catchy riffs or vocal phrases. Immolation are a no compromise type of artist and "Close to a World Below" is another example of that.

The 8 tracks on the 41:51 minutes long album are dense, raw, dark, and brutal death metal (opening with the ultra blasphemous "Higher Coward"). The quality is high throughout but a little more variation between tracks and just a few more catchy/hook laden elements could have made "Close to a World Below" a more inclusive release. Listening to the album you get the feeling that the band have written and recorded the album first and foremost for themselves and secondly for an exclusive set of fans. The more casual death metal audience is left out, but I guess that´s what no compromise means. I actually greatly respect the band for creating exactly what they want without trying to please anyone else. It just makes for a really hard and inaccessible listen.

Immolation are true originals though and they have a clear vision of how they want their music to sound, and "Close to a World Below" is one of the most standout high quality albums in their discography. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

IMMOLATION Acts Of God

Album · 2022 · Death Metal
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Nightfly
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!

IMMOLATION Acts Of God

Album · 2022 · Death Metal
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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.

IMMOLATION Failures for Gods

Album · 1999 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"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.

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