Immolation - _Kingdom of Conspiracy_
(Nuclear Blast, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8.5 out of 10)
The unending allure of heaviness is something that metalheads can't seem to clearly define, yet it's something that is continuously sought by fans the world over. When it comes to heaviness, the kind that just slaps you in the face and almost makes you feel uneasy while listening, there's hardly a band out there that can beat Immolation. The band's masterminds Ross Dolan and Robert Vigna have been producing some of the most crushing, dissonant and mystifyingly mind-blowing death metal since the band's highly lauded debut _Dawn of Possession_. Fast forward to 2013's _Kingdom of Conspiracy_ and the output falls under the same umbrella; a crushingly heavy death metal sound that fuses technicality, brutality and structural experimentation to produce a seriously unique sound.

Immolation's previous full-length _Majesty and Decay_ was highly regarded by our former colleague Jackie Smit, and it was indeed an album worthy of such praise; but _Kingdom of Conspiracy_ sounds much more focused, sharp and simply much heavier. It's just five minutes shorter than its predecessor, but those five minutes really made a difference. _Kingdom of Conspiracy_, despite a rather average cover art, is very much a hard-hitter. Blistering cuts like "Echoes of Despair", "A Spectacle of Lies" and "Serving Divinity" come in with murderous intent and leave behind them an entangled mess, all in less than four minutes. The production job isn't an overtly polished one, which is a good thing given Immolation's compositional style.

Robert Vigna's staple screeching harmonics are also all over the album, but he's really pushed his soloing a lot further this time around. The sheer dissonance coming through the solos on "Keep the Silence", "God Complex" and the skull-crushing "Indoctrinate" is just ungodly. Right next to him is his long time accomplice Ross Dolan barking ever so furiously at the mic with his signature deep guttural delivery while maintaining the band's foundation with his bass. On the other side of that foundation is Steve Shalaty, who's been Immolation's drummer since 2005's _Harnessing Ruin_. Shalaty's drumming on _Kingdom of Conspiracy_ exceeds just mere blasting and endless cymbal noise. He's constantly able to keep up with Vigna's continuous riff shifting and manages to add his own touch as well; take that intelligently placed ride bell stroke in that transition on "God Complex".

Despite all the moments of individual skill and overall band harmony, _Kingdom of Conspiracy_ doesn't reveal its true genius at first glance; which is almost a rule of thumb for great metal, or just great music in general. The Dolan-Vigna partnership is still a winning formula, especially with a machine like Steve Shalaty behind them on the drums. _Kingdom of Conspiracy_ is a lot more than a sign to prove that these old-timers are alive, it's proof that Immolation is alive and kicking; and rather violently too. This is an album to restore the faith of old-school death metal fans who, by now, can't even recognize Morbid Angel and were left slightly disappointed by Suffocation's _Pinnacle of Bedlam_. Damn those harmonics and oddly-timed blasts are pretty sweet; I'm going back for another listen.

Contact: http://www.everlastingfire.com/

(article published 23/8/2013)


CHATS
2/22/2005 J Smit Immolation: Hail to the Conquerors
5/13/2001 P Schwarz Immolation: A Truly Individual Sin
7/7/1999 P Schwarz Immolation: Incinerating Yourself to Live
2/9/1996 G Filicetti Immolation: Continuing the Crucifixion
ALBUMS
3/7/2010 J Smit 9.5 Immolation - Majesty & Decay
6/10/2007 T DePalma Immolation - Of Hope and Horror
6/10/2007 T DePalma 9.5 Immolation - Shadows in the Light
1/20/2005 J Smit 9 Immolation - Harnessing Ruin
6/30/2003 P Schwarz 9 Immolation - Unholy Cult
1/10/2001 K Buchanan 9 Immolation - Close to a World Below
7/7/1999 P Schwarz 9.5 Immolation - Failures for Gods
1/17/1996 G Filicetti 7 Immolation - Here In After
GIGS
6/3/2005 T DePalma Deicide / Immolation / Skinless / Despised Icon / With Passion Tear Through the City, Tear Through the Soul
5/21/2003 J Smit Immolation / Malevolent Creation / Aborted / Noctiferia A Kingdom United
5/21/2003 J Montague Immolation / Malevolent Creation / Aborted / Noctiferia Goth Club Destroyed by Death Metal Gods
3/16/1997 A Bromley Cannibal Corpse / Brutal Truth / Immolation / Oppresor Cannabis Corpse and Friends
5/10/1996 V Singh Deicide / Fallen Christ / Immolation / Incantation The Wave of Death
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