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Not your typical death metal - 85%

Life_Sucks, November 29th, 2003

Immolation are one of the most acclaimed brutal death metal bands, respected for their innovation and musicianship. While their first CD, Dawn Of Possession may have been a more typical death metal CD, they evolved into a band with a very unique sound of their own, marked by dissonant chords and odd rhythms. And yes, Unholy Cult is definitely different from your usual brutal death metal CD. Things kick off with Of Martyrs And Men, which begins with a cool acousic riff that fades in, gradually increasing in volume. Then the heavy guitars kick in playing dissonant chords to a blast beat. The main riff off the song, which starts when the vocals come in, is very odd sounding - the timing is wierd, making it sound off beat, like some of the notes are being played a fraction of a second too late. But this is typical for Immolation, and is a defining aspect of their sound. The next track, Sinful Nature is similar, with odd rhythms and dissonant chords. Track three, the title track, sounds more normal in terms of rhythm but the chords have odd harmonies, as usual. Immolation hardly ever use power chords, and instead opt for strange harmonies, which give the music an eerie feel. Generally, the songs are more mid paced, as opposed to all out blasting, though there are a decent amounts of blast beat passages, and a couple songs that are generally fast and blasting, such as A Kingdom Divided. The guitar sound is somewhat trebly and thin, and not thick and crushing, like it is with most brutal death metal bands. The bass is also very audible, and not buried in the mix like it often is in metal. The production is quite good. And the production, guitar sound, and mixing job all fit the music very well. Unholy Cult is a typical Immolation CD. It is a must have for all Immolation fans, though it is not quite as good as Here In After or Close To A World below in my opinion. I personally like Immolation's sound, though I must admit that it took a while for it to grown on me. But due to the generally awkward feel to their music, I can't get into them as much as other brutal death metal bands such as Nile, Suffocation, or Decapitated.