IMMOLATION — Harnessing Ruin (review)

IMMOLATION — Harnessing Ruin album cover Album · 2005 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Nightfly
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.
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11 days ago
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