Sound — 8
Immolation is one of the few bands that have their own signature sound. The music is complex and very brutal at the same time, but overall it's just downright weird (in an orgasmic kind of way). The men behind all the infernal riffing are Robert Vigna and Tom Wilkinson. Their riffs consist of unorthodox chords that add a lot of colour to the overall sound (unlike the tedious power chord bashings you hear on most metal albums). This is probably the most important factor that sets them apart from their colleagues. Through these insane riffs they meld brutality, atmosphere and groove into eachother, which is something very few bands have succeeded in. It's all very technical, but not like modern day tech-death bands, where the music is often replaced by wanking just for the sake of it. Besides the strange riffs the sound is also characterised by the constant changes of time signatures. This is not uncommon in technical death metal, but Immolation do it without getting utterly annoying! To top it all off, there's a spastic solo for every song (played by Vigna) comlementing the insanity! The drums (played by Craig Smilowski) also keep the songs interesting and surprising. Craig constantly goes on- and offbeat and delivers some very exciting tom work throughout the album. The only bad thing about the drums is the production and that's my next topic. This album would have been perfect instead of just magnificant if it weren't for the muddy production! The guitars sometimes become a huge mush, which is a shame because it makes some great riffs very hard to hear! The bass is totally inaudible, try as much as you want, you won't hear it, it's completely buried under the mix. And then finally (like I said before): the drums sound horrible! The drum sound lacks 'body' and sounds way to 'clicky', a lot of times it reminded me of the abominable noises Lars Ulrich spawned on "Saint Anger". Of course I've heard deathmetal albums that sounded way worse, but in this case I find it such a shame because the cool stuff is sometimes very hard to hear. In short: the musicians are great, the music is insane, but the production is mediocre.
Lyrics — 8
Ross Dolan (vocals, bass) is without doubt one of the best deathmetal singers ever! His grunts are very low and agressive and he seems to create some kind of groove when he's singing. The lyrics are all about the same thing: Jesus and God were (are) assholes. I don't mind blasphemous lyrics, but they get old quickly, and Ross' are no exception. Luckily I don't care too much, as long as the music is good!
Overall Impression — 9
This is one of my most favourite albums ever, despite the muddy production and sometimes silly lyrics. All the songs are great, but "Nailed To gold", "Here In after" and "Away From God" are my favourites! I can't tell you what I'd do if it this album were stolen, because that will never happen: I have all the songs on my mp3 player, and the album itself is now locked in a safe, 20.000 leagues under the sea, guarded by a 40 ton squid, try and get it!