Although Florida, is generally regarded as the immortal epicentre of American Death Metal (and rightly so, it is the home of Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary and Deicide among many others after all), New York is also right up there in producing so many quality death metal bands from Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation to Demolition Hammer and Mortician. One other name that you can’t forget of course is the mighty Immolation and the Yonkers brutalists return in savage fashion with their tenth album Atonement.
As the band blast straight into opening number The Distorting Light, they prove that three decades into their career, they still sound as fresh as they did when they first emerged in the early nineties and their savage rhythms (bassist & vocalist Ross Dolan and drummer Steve Shalaty are one of the most powerful rhythm sections not just in in Death Metal but in the Metal world in general) and complex guitarwork is still intact (with new guitarist Alex Boulks fitting in perfectly with long time axeman Robert Vigna) and instantly recognisable with the vocals of Dolan still sounding as commanding as ever. Immolation power through the eleven songs on the album with a power that would shame bands half their age and songs like the foreboding When The Jackals Come and the vicious swarm of Rise The Heretics are the sound of the band at their best and with this album Immolation continue their dominance at the top of the Death Metal chain and sound as vital as ever.
The highlights come thick and fast on Atonement with the albums title track which sees the band attacking with a slower pace than usual but one that is just as devastatingly heavy and the anthemic groove of the Power Of Gods just two of them but two that are at the top of the must listen to list. Atonement as a whole though, is a masterclass is pure Death Metal and as the album ends with the evil churning of Epiphany, it is a delight to have Immolation back to doing what they do bast after a four year gap and that is bringing the listener the best in face melting Death Metal. Immolation have consistently been at the top of their game so it is no surprise that they are still, not only doing it, but doing it so well and this is a testament to their vision and skill and musicians. Love live Immolation, Kings of Death Metal.