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“Harnessing Ruin” features a fresh sound the band acquired in their past album “Unholy Cult”, which consist on a very heavy and bass oriented equalization. Composition wise it follows the same path, with a more relaxed style in riffing, focused on the ambient created rather than the decoration of the riffs. It is a little bit more inspired than their previous effort; “Swarm of Terror”, “Our Saviour Sleeps” and “Challenge the Storm” would be the highlights for me. They combine the ferocity that have always characterized Immolation’s death metal with the recently acquired sense of melody you can find on “My Own Enemy” and “Son Of Iniquity” too, the longest songs of the record. These long epics are an example of how fluid and wired is the band’s song making process, because riffs drift from one section to another perfectly throughout the 6+ minutes they last.
Shalaty’s inclusion after classic drummer Alex Hernández departure doesn’t affect dramatically the band’s sound, he follows the same riff conscious formula to play drum patterns that go along with whatever the guitar is playing. Their style is so similar I honestly wouldn’t have noticed the line up change if the booklet didn’t said it. Shalaty’s technique is exquisite as Hernández, both are intelligent at the time of writing their beats and have a tremendous stamina. Some guitar arrangements are also included, that give a hypnotic and haunting atmosphere to the sections they are used for. The deep sorrow effect they produce is accomplished completely. The soloing is still sick as fuck, a trademark in Immolation`s sound, not every death metal band has good lead guitars and they know it, so they take advantage from it luckily for us the fans. Twin guitars are also used with a wicked dexterity from both guitarists; giving an anxious texture to the music. Dolan’s vocals are still as crude as they have always been, from the guts and to the abyss. His bass guitar gives a nice mattress for the guitars, supporting them and giving an extra punch and low end heaviness to the music.
The evil and abstract are melted in this new millennium Immolation’s sound, a pairing that blends perfectly when crafted by this masters if you ask me. A little aspect I dislike of this album are the clean vocals of “Dead to Me” a track I consider the band’s weakest, it’s too melodic for my taste, as if they focused more on the sad and nostalgic side of the music rather than the evil and brutal. Apart from that, this album is another exemplary monument of Immolation’s straightforward death metal.