Company: Nuclear Blast Release: 2010 Genre: Death Reviewer: Ben McCraw
Truly the nature of musical evolution
As great of a year for death metal as 2009 was, Immolation are sure to add to the buzz spread from contemporaries Nile, Cannibal Corpse, and fellow New Yorkers Suffocation well into 2011. And the reason is this album; from its onset with the appropriately titled "Introduction" it delivers upon the promise of its name with moments of the sonically majestic, like "The Divine Code", that travel over the pure destruction underneath them. This effectively creates a dichotomy characteristic of many progressive metal works that could easily satisfy the tastes of different metalheads.
Pre-production was used extensively for this album and it shows as the mix is perfectly balanced, no one instrument overrules the other rather, they all come together to bring the listener into the songs instead of relying so heavily on guitars. Every part breathes with a life of its own, this is true even on the more aggressive tracks like "A Glorious Epoch". Production-wise this may be Immolation's finest offering to date.
Ross Dolan's guttural vocals remain slow spoken and evil, which serves the musical atmospheres that the band creates very well, as do the excellent guitar solos of Robert Vigna (voted one of the greatest death metal guitarists of all time). They, along with guitarist Bill Taylor and drummer Steve Shalaty, lay down unquestionably advanced steel to be reckoned with.
In a scene frequently filled with bands rehashing each others stale riffs and lack of creativity, Majesty and Decay is truly the nature of musical evolution.
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