Immolation – Acts of God (Album Review)

Release Date: February 18th 2022 - Nuclear Blast Records

Immolation - Acts Of God

Immolation will be well known to death metal fans around the world and do not require a lengthy introduction.  The New York death metal band was formed in 1988 and is considered one of the leaders of the US death metal scene.  The band boasts an impressive back catalog of studio albums, with their signature style that includes complex dissonant riffs and technical drumming, they have cemented their place as one of the most influential death metal bands in history.

With guitarist Robert Vigna and vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan (who are the only constant members in the band’s history) and with a few lineup changes since their formation, the current lineup adds Steve Shalaty on drums (2003) and Alex Bouks on rhythm guitar (2016).

The first thing that stands out is how the vocals, guitars, and drums mesh together, it’s extreme as hell, but with a rhythm that is somewhat hypnotic amongst the chaos.  The dissonance of the guitar is unnerving at times, the blast beats are nothing short of insanity and the vocals are formidable.  It all comes together in a perfect storm.

The first track “Abandoned” is a subdued intro, and is lulling you into a strange sense of calm before the second track, “An Act of God”, pours forth a sea of blast beats, guttural vocals, and discordant riffs – it gives you exactly what you would expect from ImmolationShalaty’s drums are incredible, matching the rhythm of each riff and vocal phrase in a seamless manner

“Noose of Thorns” is a standout for me, beginning with a doomy intro and building gradually, it again highlights the distinctive drum tone, until it launches once again into a melee of all instruments joined together, the track provides an ebb and flow of tempos and a particularly manic solo.  This one for me had everything I was looking for within this album.

It is notable that each track, whilst delivering the band’s characteristic style of death metal, offers you melodies that make this more than just “run of the mill” death metal.  It has a nuance to it that really is enslaving.  The hooks and melodies are perfectly placed to ensure they still maintain the core of death metal, but with that extra layer that grabs your full attention.

“Immortal Stain” begins with a few bars of a clean melody, which carries throughout the track when the distortion kicks in.  This is the knack that the band has of combining melody with extreme metal, without losing the brutality of their genre  The vocal timing is in perfect sync with the music in the most enticing way.  The band creates an atmosphere that is rare in a lot of extreme metal, each layer adds something essential to the music that entwines to seduce the listener to take notice of every aspect.

Immolation has done it again with this album, displaying the reasons they have their deserved place in the history of death metal greats.  Highly recommended for all fans of death metal.

Immolation: Facebook

Release Year: 2022
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Category: Album
Country: USA

Reviewed by ForsakenMisery