IMMOLATION — Acts Of God (review)

IMMOLATION — Acts Of God album cover Album · 2022 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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!
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
1 year ago
Nothing beats Close To A World Below as their pinnacle IMHO but this is certainly a consistent band where every album is a cut above the grade.
1 year ago
Love this one too but I think Atonement just pips it
Psydye wrote:
1 year ago
Yeah I really enjoyed this one! It's easily one of my faves by them.

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