Immolation – Acts of God

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New York death metal heavyweight Immolation returns once again to reclaim their throne! The current line-up of the maestros Robert Vigna (guitars), Ross Dolan (vocals, bass), Steve Shalaty (drums) and, Alex Bouks (guitars) kick into gear and bring forth their eleventh album “Acts of God” out on February 18th via Nuclear Blast Records. Since early 1991, Immolation presented unrivaled musicianship creating a signature sound that made them instantly recognizable among other death metal acts like Deicide, Morbid Angel, Incantation and etc… The New York powerhouse has ultimately empowered their craftsmanship and managed to pull the best elements of dissonant riffs and eerie lead guitars that are boasted by high technicality. The songs are firmly structured upon titanic death metal riffs and this makes “Acts of God” a spectacular force of brutal cacophony channeled by tight performance.  

The album slowly gets under your skin and begins with a bewitching harmony with “Abandoned”, leaving you in a dark silent moment of unavailing atonement. Following the bleak intro of the guitar harmonies, the opening of “An Act of God” holds a commanding force of profane brutality that Immolation became known for the past three decades. The gusty guttural growls of Ross Dolan come in harsh and violent as the roaring beast coalesces into the destructive wall of sound, the guitar riffs are dense and manifest a paradigm architecture for Robert Vigna’s complex work of art. With the long-time drummer Steve Shalaty sitting behind the drum kit unleashing a sonic maelstrom of pummeling beats he proves to be the potent arsenal for Immolation’s might.

The Age of No Light” depicts grim apocalyptic visions of the world that we live in today, the guitars weave skull-crushing riffs, each moment of this album the songs turn into something darker. The guitar segments on the album are perfectly layered and the resulting sound gives a varied rhythm. Seemingly Immolation wields a slew of obscure tracks, like “Noose of Thorns” which is malevolently dark and aggressive, played at mid-tempo exhibiting intricate patterns of the riffing and pulverizing drums offering a concrete slab of thundering beats. Alex Boucks with his virtuous talent creates a malicious mood, there is ample space for the guitars to generate an atmosphere of oppressive morbidity. 

Other songs, like “Shed The Light”, offer a booming pandemonium of tectonic double bass, and brutal cacophony that echoes with dissonance and guitar harmonies. Every track on the album verges slowly on the riffing complexity, intense drumming work, and monstrous guttural growls, displaying a quality like never before. Showcasing merciless brutality and furious death metal riffs, the slow-paced drumming assault adds an uncompromising set of pummeling beats on “Blooded”. “Acts Of God” captures the core strength of past albums like “Close To A World Below” and “Majesty and Decay”. Particularly on songs like “Overtures of The Wicked”, the quartet heavily focuses on their obscure roots in crafting brutal riffs as the drums unabated continue to wreak havoc. You will be entangled by the claustrophobic atmosphere of the dense quagmire riffs, with a horrifying aura of the dense guitar textures resonating like the peals of doom. Some of Immolation’s darkest songs are found in “Immoral Strain”, which is culminated by the wall of instrumentation. With the disharmony of the low guttural growls, eerie twisted riffs, and blast beats bringing some memorable vibes.

Eerie images of colossal titans linger in the mind while listening to the menacing growls and the uncanny riffs. “Broken Prey” plunges into a heavy groove section without sacrificing the overall brutality, while “Derelict of Spirit” is the testimony of the songwriting genius that trudges between the mid-pacing brutality. Usually, the eerie riffs are followed up by a catchy rhythm section, always shape-shifting and bringing the right atmosphere. Immolation is adept at applying devious tempos where the fast paced sections often come abruptly, showing the sly nature of the band. The album is replete with dissonance tremolo picking and massive power chords. “When Halos Burn” viciously lashes out some proper blast beats and guitars providing a barrage of hellfire riffs, smearing you with the fires of hell. “Let The Darkness In” is a slow churning death metal track highlighted by ominous lead guitars, and thumping bass chords that emphasize the effective song structure. The prelude instrumental cut “And The Flames Wept” is a short musical passage that quickly segues to the album’s closure “Apostle”. Which blends fast pacing tempos and frenzied solos, making it one of the most sinister and brutal tracks on the album.

Acts Of God” see Immolation sitting atop the death metal throne, Robert Vigna, Ross Dolan, and co. have delivered an incredible package of thirteen brutal tracks. This is without any doubt a serious contender for the albums of the year 2022 lists and any fan of death metal should own this as good as immediate classic!

Release Date: February 18th, 2022
Label: Nuclear Blast
Tracklisting:

  1. Abandoned
  2. An Act of God
  3. The Age of No Light
  4. Noose of Thorns
  5. Shed The Light
  6. Blooded
  7. Overtures of the Wicked
  8. Immoral Strain
  9. Incineration Procession
  10. Broken Prey
  11. Derelict of Spirit
  12. When Halos Burn
  13. Let the Darkness In
  14. And the Flames Wept
  15. Aspostle

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music10/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics10/10
  • Production10/10
  • Artwork10/10
  • Originality10/10
10“Acts Of God” captures the core strength of the past albums like “Close To A World Below” and “Majesty and Decay”, as they maintain the raw barbarity and the fundamental themes.
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