Immolation – Kingdom of Conspiracy

Here we have the ninth and latest offering from New York’s Death Metal heroes Immolation. It’s been a long 3 year since these titans spewed out an album of their own vitriolic and blasphemous death metal but, as always with these guys, it has been well worth the wait. If you’re a long standing fan, Kingdom of Conspiracy is every bit as brutal and evil as you hoped, albeit in a slightly different formula to what you might be anticipating. ç

While parts of the discordant misery that really gave Immolation their atmosphere on albums like Close To A World Below and Unholy Cult still bleed through into the mix, it seems that they have decided to go with more blocky riffs and a higher abundance of headbanging slow breakdowns. The loss of speed and ferocity may seem on the surface to be a downside but it works quite well in creating a monolithically heavy sound, which they have intricately combined with a sense of groove to coalesce into something really special.

If you can get past the change in the delivery of their atmosphere, the only other thing that might put you off is the slightly modernised production; everything is very clear and the drums sound a lot more clean and triggered than in the previous offerings. While it’s always good to be able to hear everything in a mix. the more hardened Death Metal fans may take a slight exception to this change in sound, fickle beings that they are.

My favourite thing about this album has to be the guitar playing on the whole; stupidly heavy riffs and even some complexly timed shreds complimented by vicious leads thrown in at every available opportunity really do combine to make an impressively aggressive performance from Robert Vigna and Bill Taylor. It’s this sort of guitar playing that really grabs me when listening to death metal, as it’s got the dynamics that are really needed in this sort of music. You can be as fast as you want, but if you haven’t got this sort of aggression, then you haven’t really got anything at all, as it just becomes monotonous and boring. Luckily there’s none of that here, at no point does the guitar work become shallow or forced. Of course, Ross Dolan also remains wonderfully on form, with his vocals remaining as powerful and masterfully delivered as in every Immolation albums. Staying with his perfected guttural growls, he is once again the proverbial cherry on top of a stunning album.

To summarise, this album is killer. Plain and simple. If you don’t mind a slightly different approach to their style in terms of structure and sound, then you’ll quickly realise that they’ve stayed totally true to the horrifically dirty and aggressive vibe that they’ve always done so well at getting across. While it falls marginally short of the brilliance of Close To A World Below (a standard that will forever remain impossible to top) this takes nothing away from your need to buy this album if you’ve ever even heard just one Death Metal riff in your entire life.

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