March 4, 2017

Immolation – Atonement album review

Five Stars out of Five


For nearly 30 years, Immolation has been cranking out the epitome of New York Death Metal, brutal, uncompromising, and vicious. You can always count on them for a consistent album and there is never an attempt at trying to compromise their sound to reach a bigger audience. ATONEMENT, the band’s 10th studio album, is an amazing blend of memorable riffs, inhuman vocals, and precise drumming that will give the listener an unflinching look at the world and mankind. It’s exactly what we want and have come to expect from the mighty Immolation.

“The Distorting Light” starts gently before hammering us with an assault of deep growls, shredding riffs, and blast beats which immediately snaps us out of our shit and pulls us in! Each track is distinct. There is a lot of foreboding, dissonant riffing here and changes in tempo and feel, from quiet to pulverizing. Songs are on the shorter side for an Immolation album (3-4 min) and most are mid paced or even slow rather than blisteringly fast, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t heavy, powerful, and moving. Lyrically, instead of being overtly anti-Christian like some previous albums, ATONEMENT is more about the state of the world today and how it will end. Ross Dolan’s vocals are top notch as always, animalistic but understandable with a lot of emotion, not just raw anger and hate. Robert Vigna and Alex Bouks are brilliant with their haunting riffs and solos, hypnotic at times. Drumming is crisp but there aren’t a lot of blast beats, Steve Shalaty’s performance is a bit more restrained than other albums but here I feel less is more. The drumming isn’t showy, it forges the backdrop of the chaos. Standout tracks include “Lower”, “Fostering the Divide”, “Rise of Heretics”, “Thrown to the Fire” and “Destructive Currents”. Bonus track is a re-recording of the song “Immolation” from DAWN OF POSSESSION and I think it actually sounds better here than on the original album! This version was released as a flexi disc with Decibel Magazine, so it is awesome the band decided to include it on the new album.

Metal For Everyone gives ATONEMENT our highest rating and recommendation. I know it is only March, but this is potentially the metal album of the year folks. If you are a fan of extreme metal, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this immediately if you haven’t already.

  1. The Distorting Light
  2. When the Jackals Come
  3. Fostering the Divide
  4. Rise the Heretics
  5. Thrown to the Fire
  6. Destructive Currents
  7. Lower
  8. Atonement
  9. Above All
  10. Power of Gods
  11. Epiphany
  12. Immolation (bonus track)


Immolation is:

Ross Dolan – Bass / Vocals

Robert Vigna – Guitars

Alex Bouks – Guitars

Steve Shalaty – Drums


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