Immolation - _Majesty & Decay_
(Nuclear Blast, 2010)
by: Jackie Smit (9.5 out of 10)
Personally, I could never quite buy into the sentiment that Immolation needed to return to form after _Harnessing Ruin_. As a rule, I tend to largely ignore any such hyperbole, but in this instance I found the criticism of that record's austere atmospherics particularly laughable, more so when held against the glint of its successor's single-mindedness. You see, in my mind, Immolation's death metal has always been about more than sheer brutality. There's an omnipresent depth of intelligence present in both their songcraft and lyrical prose that has ensured they remain the obsessive tipple of a select niche, regardless of trends to the contrary.

So, while _Shadows in the Light_ was certainly captivating in its own right, as an Immolation devotee I longed for the coal-black ambience that had pumped like tar through the veins of their classics -- _Close to a World Below_ especially. It would seem as though the Yonkers crew are with me on that one, because as much as _Majesty & Decay_ flexes its muscles comfortably alongside the rowdiest sequences in the band's discography, the dynamics so glaringly absent from their previous effort make a glorious and palatable return. Now bankrolled by Nuclear Blast's considerable coffers, it all sounds a whole lot better too; richer resource has meant that for the first time ever, Immolation have been able to benefit from a decent pre-production, the return on investment manifesting itself particularly in the more refined, free-flowing song structures.

As much as it boasts a host of evolved nuances however, there's no mistaking _Majesty & Decay_ for anything other than an Immolation record. Sleeker through tracks like "A Glorious Epoch" and "Divine Code" may sound, Ross Dolan's colossal and unmistakable gnarl and an across-the-board knack for writing riffs that outclass all but the very elite in the genre, mean that even for the most demanding fan, this disc will surely be a resounding success. Indeed, 2010 may yet be in its infancy, but it's not unreasonable to suggest the finest death metal release of the year has already seen the light of day.


(article published 7/3/2010)

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
8/23/2013 A El Naby 8.5 Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy
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
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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