Dawn Of Possession is the debut full-length studio album by American ( New York) death metal act Immolation. The album was released in July 1991 by Roadrunner Records. Immolation were along with fellow death metal acts Suffocation and Incantation, the leaders of the New York death metal scene in the early nineties. Dawn Of Possession is widely considered a classic album from that era. Immolation started out under the Rigor Mortis monicker in 1986 but changed their name to Immolation in 1988. So at the time when they recorded Dawn Of Possession, they had already existed for five years and released a string of demos under both monickers. Unlike most American death metal acts in the early nineties Immolation didn´t record Dawn Of Possession at the legendary Morrisound Studio in Tampa, Florida but opted to take the journey to the Musiclab Studios, in Berlin, Germany and work with producer Harris Johns.
The music on the album is technically well played US death metal. The lyrical themes are blasphemous and anti-religious and they are delivered with the right caustic and aggresssive attitude. One of the things that Immolation really understand is the importance of rythmic delivery of growling vocals. It´s a feature that most death metal acts neglect to focus on and therefore monotone death metal vocals mare far too many releases in the genre. Bassist/ vocalist Ross Dolan is one of those rare exceptions that makes it all worth it. Immolation would on later releases develop a very distinct twisted/ angular riffing style but on Dawn Of Possession the influence from especially early Morbid Angel is very audible and there are only few traces of the more unique style that the band would develop through the years.
The songs are well composed, powerful, brutal and very well played. It´s audible that the band had already existed for five years at this point, because their technical skills are on a high level considering that Dawn Of Possession is a debut album. The album is very consistent but as on most albums of the more brutal kind, it´s not easy to tell the songs apart until you´ve given the album many spins. It´s quite a rewarding journey though and I find Dawn Of Possession highly recommendable to fans of the more technical variation of old school US death metal. a 4 star rating is deserved.