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Chaotic grooves paved on asymmetric time signatures, unsettling harmonics, insane rhythms, menacing vocals; ah, the Immolation of it all! It may not be surprising to say that out of a pick of ten or even a hundred bands otherwise tagged as NY death metal, Immolation would be the most audibly distinct from the bunch. Throughout a productive lineage of highly acclaimed albums and yet far from the media’s spotlight, Immolation have been perpetually smoldering under a veil of hellish musicality, following their own intransigent, musical path. That unique musical trademark of discordant harmonies and distinctive groove parts is once again omnipresent on their latest work but this time round it’s bolstered by a more melodic approach, the most conspicuous parts of which can be found on the devastating ‘Our Savior Sleeps’ and ‘Dead To Me’. Don’t get the wrong idea though, Immolation are certainly not the ones for compromising melodies; the melody they incorporate takes the role of a subtle, threatening feeling which adds even more to the rich musical texture of their sound. The riffage on this album once again defies and yet re-defines death metal riffing with Vigna churning his captivatingly pernicious riffs along-side Dolan’s intricate bass lines. This album also sees a new sticksman sitting behind the drum set, namely Steve Shalaty who falls right in place in the Immolation camp. Akin to his predecessor’s technical prowess, Shalaty’s drumming never falls in the trap of being monotonous or overly technical just for the sake it. What with his well-placed drum fills and complex, groovy rhythmical patterns he manages to integrate a lot of imagination into his percussion, thus providing each song with a solid and attention-grabbing foundation.
Another iniquitous offering of Immolation’s own brand of brutal death metal minus redundant blast beating and extravagant, gore filled lyricism, for the dedicated Immolation fans, ‘Harnessing Ruin’ isn’t much of a thunder from clear skies; it’s a validation of what they have come to expect each and every time this Yonkers quartet releases an album.