Immolation - Atonement
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
11 songs (44:34)
Release year: 2017
Immolation, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

Full-length number ten finds Immolation surprisingly comfortable, continuing the sound of the last couple of albums in that heavy, almost cavernous yet still very technical style. Bill Taylor departed in 2016 but his replacement Alex Bouks knows the pointy end of a guitar thanks to his time in Incantation amongst others, and the remaining line-up of drummer Steve Shalaty and of course central duo Ross Dolan and Robert Vigna are as tight and unified as ever. The Immolation sound is pretty well-known by now, the band’s mixture of sludgy death metal with almost avant-garde structure and guitar riffs making them unique, and with nearly thirty years in the death metal business, something of a legend. They’re a band that are always terrific and have never released a bad album, yet due to the unfriendly nature of their music mean that they always seem to avoid immediate acclaim on the release of an album, except from those already part of the unholy cult.

Atonement is no different; although it’s a little more straightforward than some past Immolation albums it still needs a many listens and much familiarity to get to grips with all that is going on. The serpentine structures and weaving magic of the guitar and drum interplay is akin to Nile’s, to the point where you think you can almost hear Eastern influences buried deep, as on The Power of Gods here. Yet the crushing heaviness is closer to Suffocation’s, while moments of groove and melody are pure Morbid Angel. Immolation, of course, have directly copied none of these bands but are good enough at each aspect of their death metal to warrant comparison, often to the detriment of others. It’s a pleasure to listen to music when it’s as well put-together as this, and as heavy and unfriendly as Immolation’s music is, there’s no denying what a pleasure Atonement is to listen to.

Immolation are as capable as incorporating groove into their music (eg on Epiphany) as they are moments seemingly influenced by black metal such as the flurrying riffs on the epic title track. The crushing grind of slower-paced moments is equal in heaviness to faster gallops, and the band are excellent at doing both, such as on When The Jackals Come. Really, the only negative you can come up with is in comparing Atonement to past Immolation albums, and while this may not be the greatest or most complex creation of the band, it’s another solid release full of their typically great death metal that will still be on the playlist for months to come.

Killing Songs :
When the Jackals Come, Destructive Currents, Atonement, The Power of Gods
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Immolation that we have reviewed:
Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy reviewed by Jared and quoted 82 / 100
Immolation - Majesty and Decay reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Immolation - Close To A World Below reviewed by Dylan and quoted 89 / 100
Immolation - Shadows in the Light reviewed by Alex and quoted 93 / 100
Immolation - Harnessing Ruin reviewed by Alex and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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