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Unprocessed Mastery - 90%

Svartekrist, September 28th, 2011

That Immolation have their own style going on, is something most would probably agree upon. Harnessing Ruin is a continuation of that style, with spastic drumming following the lead of the guitars most notably. And as well comes the deep yet decipherable vocals along with trembling bass guitar adding that rumbling thunder underneath it all. So how does it go?

The instrumentation, which should be expected, is delivered masterfully. In terms of how the instruments supplement each other, it does not get much better, all creating a rather haunting atmosphere. The guitars have a blunt feel to them, but as well sharp, strewing around memorable and intricate riffs. The bass guitar lies in lieu of the guitars, backing up with some thick lines to give a more deep feel to the strings. The drums however is plain and simple excellent, they somewhat mimic the pattern of the guitars, but in the process adds some very rhythmically complex beats here and there. The vocals, as mentioned, are easy to decipher and can be described as thundering roars, delivered with outstanding force.

In terms of production and mixing, these are both probably the most ideal for the band, in particular the production which gives a raw and unprocessed feel to the music. And the mixing leaves everything audible, but can at times tangle the bass guitar and the guitars together. And as already said, the instruments supplement each other very well. With the songwriting however, things can go a little bad. Most songs have something to them that should not be missed, but some songs have sections that could have been improved upon or structured differently, or perhaps just not be there at all. Those sections dotted around are more or less the biggest weaknesses of Harnessing Ruin. But aside from these, there is not much else wrong here, to be perfectly honest.

In the end, Immolation have made a very powerful album, with a couple of really heavy hitting songs. There are some hick-ups that are hard to ignore, but overall, Harnessing Ruin is a quality product and easy to enjoy.

Stand-out tracks: Harnessing Ruin, Our Savior Sleeps, Swarm of Terror, Son of Iniquity, Crown the Liar.