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Close to a World Below

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Album Review

After participating in the initial wave of innovation in New York death metal in the late '80s and early '90s, Immolation continued to develop in a harmonically dense, technical direction. On their fourth full-length album, Close to a World Below, they find a late career voice. While time signatures remain elusive and chord voicings remain convoluted, the total number of riffs per song is significantly reduced. While individual parts have more breathing room, the overall effect is significantly more suffocating. Lurching, percussive passages intimidate and horrify, and dissonant chords create a thick sonic fog. The combination of dissonance, doomy passages, and bizarre guitar techniques treads into the same otherworldly territory Gorguts mapped out on 1998's Obscura. The most remarkable thing about Close to a World Below is the capacity for specific melodic and rhythmic motifs to rise out of the chaos and grab the listener. Immolation's intuition remains grounded in themes that easily touch subconscious desires for melodic resolution and rhythmic satisfaction. While Immolation were New York death metal innovators during the late '80s and early '90s, they also released one of the most profound and creative death metal albums of the 2000s, giving a new voice to a genre deluged with cookie-cutter clones.

Customer Reviews

Death Metal Masterpiece!

Immolation are a long standing New York death metal band who have always seemed to be slightly under-rated, which is too bad because they are one of the best and most unique bands who always evolve and create within the DM template. This is certainly one of their best albums and the first thing that strikes you when listening is how totally heavy it sounds. Not heavy in a traditional, fast paced way, more heavy as in it simply seems to crush you with the sheer weight of its musical presence. The riffs grind and churn and the drums pummel in a fashion that seems like a planet imploding and this seperates this band from many others in a similar field. The sound of the guitars, the unusal choice of chords and the weird approach to leads makes this band sound malevolent, brutal and like true innovators. The vocals are deep, growled and potent and the lyrics can actually be understood too, which is unusual. Overall Immolation are one of the best, true death metal bands around, and they are one who never stagnate, only improve. If you have even the slightest intrest in DM, or metal as whole, you need to hear this great band.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The death metal band Immolation formed in New York in 1986; originally dubbed Rigor Mortis, the group first comprised singer/bassist Ross Dolan, guitarists Robert Vignaud and Thomas Wilkinson, and drummer Craig Smilowski. After a series of well-received demos, in 1991 Immolation signed to Roadrunner to issue their debut album, Dawn of Possession; a five-year gap (and a move to Metal Blade) preceded the follow-up, Here in After. With...
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Close to a World Below, Immolation
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