CATCHY. There's a word you rarely hear in terms of death metal songs, but seek and ye shall find... And, NY act Immolation have managed that feat as they pound out their trademark blast and battering on the unremitting excellence of their 10th studio album 'Atonement'.
So far, so normal for fans considering purchasing the 11-track album. However, this takes the darkness is an unrelenting vision of the four-piece's view of the world, both lyrically and musically.
We're going to go out on a limb (a diseased gangrenous limb, of course) and say that this is possibly the most complete Immolation album in their almost 30-years history of the band.
Whether it is Paul Orofino's production or the mix and mastering of Zach Ohren but an alchemic elixir has been distilled from the elements of the band.
But, this is not a monochromatic death metal release in terms of pacing and lay-out. Take for example 'Rise The Heretic' - after a minute of full-on there is a delicate change of pace, with atonal elements amid the unrelenting riffing, before around two minutes 40 and a clean, brief few seconds before the assault is renewed.
Bouks and Vigna have managed to retain balance in their playing throughout - understanding that the best of death metal isn't afraid to orchestrate each track.
There is also an element of brooding tension on each song, no more than on 'Thrown To The Fire' and 'Lower'.
Dolan's words are impassioned throughout, with a dystopian jaundiced eye cast upon the failings of mankind. Lyrics and music mated in an unholy unity.
What Immolation have managed here is take their existing formula, reach back to the earlier MB releases, take the success of 'Kingdom of Conspiracy' and its vision and build yet further. The darkness within seeks 'Atonement' and in 2017 death is what can provide penance.
Review by Jonathan Traynor
Atonement is out now on Nuclear Blast.
Immolation are on tour with Vader, with a Dublin date coming in April