Published Feb 22, 2017For many old-school metal bands still around these days, progressing their sound is a double-edged sword: if they change too much, they'll lose their core following; if they stay exactly the same, they'll become stagnant and boring.
New York death metal pioneers Immolation have mastered this balancing act though, as each of their new releases has maintained the identity they started out with in 1988, but also incorporated something new and fresh to the mix. That's the case with their latest offering, Atonement, which marks their tenth album in a consistent, flawless catalogue that spans nearly three decades.
In addition to bringing back their original logo, Atonement features the same pummelling aggression that Immolation established with their debut album, 1991's Dawn of Possession. Tracks like "When the Jackals Come" and "Rise the Heretics" display guitarist Bob Vigna's impeccable songwriting with crushing groove-filled hooks and intricate solos, while "Fostering the Divide" and "Destructive Currents" highlight vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan's distinct, brutal gutturals.
Along with improved production quality, Atonement also embraces more of an ominous atmosphere than some of their previous work, particularly 2013's Kingdom of Conspiracy. Opener "The Distorting Light" exhibits an exceptionally dark, eerie vibe that permeates the album and adds a new layer to Immolation's iconic sound. (Nuclear Blast)