Immolation - _Of Hope and Horror_
(Listenable, 2007)
by: T. DePalma (no rating)
Immolation's first EP inside their twenty years of existence precedes their full-length _Shadows in the Light_ with three new tracks (including one instrumental) plus a bonus DVD filmed in NYC last year. Both "Den of Thieves" and "The Condemned" continue on in the style of _Harnessing Ruin_, plunging into the fire with abridged death metal riffs, heavier breakdowns and Ross Dolan's monstrous roar, here used to tear down the group's most essential objects of wrath. Admittedly, neither of these opening tracks make much of an impact beyond what is expected, at least musically. Worth mentioning between the two is what seems a carefully worded and then, if true, surprising criticism (of no small fellowship) against the current US administration written into "Den of Thieves":

"Bludgeon the masses, with propaganda
Stealing our sons, stealing our lives
Hungry for power, to battle they go
Fire in their eyes, and rage in their souls...

...Conspire ways, to bring us hate
Spreading lies, like the devil's plague
Make their crusade, our world's fate
Death in their eyes, now blood on their souls"

(Fans will remember immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Immolation's then-homepage featured a flash animation of the wreckage and hoisting of the American flag with a superimposed text of President Bush's now infamous ultimatum, "you are either with us or with the terrorists".)

"The Struggle of Hope and Horror", a seven minute instrumental, is surprising for what it is not. As the band forgoes the predictable route of acoustic interludes and similar time filling clich├ęs, the track instead feels like a small medley, welding together the group's sullen pinch grooves and strength of melodic upheaval with no less than four guitar solos set free inside the smoldering edifice. Despite it being unmistakably an Immolation track in feeling and delivery, it could not fit anywhere else in their entire discography. It almost has to stand alone (and above), capping a slight gamble that opens the way for similar releases of this type in the future which could benefit the band still. Recommended.


(article published 10/6/2007)

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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
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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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