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Consistent till death - 91%

Lissart, March 25th, 2017

Immolation are one of those bands that have never released even one below par album. It's unbelievable how consistent band they are; having released 9 albums thus far did by no means weaken their creativity. The band's 10th offering, 'Atonement', came out 24th February 2017 and is a successor to 2013's 'Kingdom of Conspiracy'. Ross Dolan, Robert Vigna and co. did it again.

The beginning of the album is marked with an incredibly heavy piece that is 'The Distorting Light'. The eerie, clean intro rapidly turns into what Immolation are about - we are introduced to onslaught of extremely aggressive musical delivery. Pacey, but at the same time technical drumming of Steve Shalaty strikes immediately after the intro is gone creating controlled havoc that is a signature move from veteran death metallers. Definitely more than a promising commencement of the release.

As the album tracks pass by, a listener can notice how coherent the album actually is. Passages between each song are well-thought and constructed in an apt manner. No disturbing oddities to be found here. Immolation have never fallen short of expectations during their lengthy career on the metal scene and with this release they once again prove they're masters of their own craft. One just can't say death metal without thinking of this band.

Creative songwriting, rumbling blast beats, extremely low vocal tone, unique and sinister riffs - each tool of the trade to be found on the 10th full-length by the band. Despite the fact that Immolation have often been accused of being generic and predictable throughout their entire career, 'Atonement' is a quite diverse offering. From the enchanting but at the same time surprising outro of 'When the Jackals Come' to the blissful acoustic intro of 'Lower', the album offers some interesting and rather unexpected moments. One thing is certain - Robert Vigna is a master of death metal riffing since his riffs are unparalleled and incomparable. It's impossible not to recognize his unresistant guitar assault.

The band's most recent offering is definitely an honorable successor to such Immolation classics as 'Dawn of Possession', 'Here in After', or 'Close to a World Below'. One could say that their newer stuff can't be compared with earlier mentioned masterpieces. I'd concur to say that 2013's 'Kingdom of Conspiracy' didn't hold a candle to those albums, but 'Atonement' doesn't lack anything to be named a rightful heir to their throne.

To conclude, 'Atonement' is the quartet's best work since 2002's 'Unholy Cult'. The band never suffers from a dearth of concepts and ideas what's clearly noticeable on the group's 10th official studio album. Despite having kicked our asses for almost 30 years now, Immolation keep on conquering the underground world of extreme music, the death metal world below.

Track picks: 'The Distorting Light', 'When the Jackals Come, 'Rise the Heretics', 'Destructive Currents', 'Lower'