Putting this album on instantly gets me grinning and reminiscing to earlier times; the early days of death metal and band such as Obituary, Incantation, Suffocation, and of course, Yonkers representatives, Immolation. When asking about acts that helped found the pillars of this particular style of metal, be clear to always mention these New York legends. Remembering their debut, Dawn Of Possession, like it was literally just yesterday (though it was 1991), you have to marvel how far they have come with this, their tenth glorious release.
It’s astounding how crystal clear the everyone sounds on Atonement, without any loss of brutality. This latest technical and classic death opus grinds the heel onto younger, and less experienced acts, with a mountainous stance, and 28 years of hard-honed experience. Robert Vigna’s style and playing are of a fine edge for this album, as is Alex Bouks, and very linked in serious tandem at times with drummer Steve Shalaty’s octopus-armed technicality. Songs like “When The Jackals Come” and “Destructive Currents”, as very also the title track showcase the balance of finesse and power of this death metal institution. Bassist and vocalist Ross Dolan delivers sombre and forbidding missives through the album; quite the guttural bellow that seems naturally honed at this point, with a wisdom and experience as hard as the sombre poetry spewed forth.
By the time you hit “Power Of The Gods”, if you haven’t been long reduced to rubble, here’s an “Epiphany” for you; which is a seriously high note to end on for anything that they’ve put out. In a time of other very strong extreme releases from veteran acts, this is no exception. I couldn’t see a more complete way for presenting your tenth album if it was possible, but with assistance from Paul Orofino (producer) to Pär Olofsson (artist), the gents did it stylishly and well-earned. Another immensely satisfying deathly banquet here, Immolation have retained their essence and fury once again, and have a brilliant addition that’s canon to their collection. Another ten years or more of given excellence is not a bit too much to hope for now, right?
Atonement Track Listing:
01. The Distorting Light
02. When The Jackals Come
03. Fostering The Divide
04. Rise The Heretics
05. Thrown To The Fire
06. Destructive Currents
09. Above All
10. The Power Of Gods
Run time: 44:40
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Check Out “Fostering The Divide”