Shadows in the Light
12/19/2007 - Review by: Etiam
Immolation - Shadows in the Light - 2007 - Century Media
This remarkable vision was evident on their very first album, ‘Dawn of Possession’, released more than 15 years ago, and it as just as evident today. Their latest release, ‘Shadows in the Light’, is a thundering force that proves Immolation’s relevance and dominance
‘World Agony’ is as close as Immolation has come to writing a bone fide ‘hit single’, with its catchy, repetitive chorus riff and simple structure. However, the rest of the song and album is so sardonic and coarse that all worries of Immolation losing their edge are firmly dispelled. ‘Shadows…’ starts off with the tumbling fills of ‘Hate’s Plague’, the album’s shortest song at 2:50, which is abrupt enough to almost be disappointing at first blush. Most of this album, actually, feels as though it leaves something to be desired during the early listens. ‘Hate’s Plague’ clips directly into ‘Passion Kill’, few songs have any opening motives to speak of, and Dolan’s fatalist lyrics constantly leave us on a cliffhanger.
However, this wasn’t especially disconcerting, since much of Immolation’s discography requires a bit of effort to get into, and ‘Shadows...’ is no different. After the first few spins, this album proves itself not to be incomplete, but rather an absolutely bare-bones affair—songs stripped down to their most utilitarian state while still retaining the trademark Immolation clout. ‘Shadows…’ has no fluff or filler, only 10 tracks, 40 minutes of pure death metal. Dolan’s curt growls, Shalaty’s roiling drums, Taylor’s dense rhythm grooves are all punctuated by Vigna’s freewheeling solos and incisive pinch harmonics that pierce through the blusterous riffing like spikes.
Some have said that Immolation’s style, as a representative of the New York death metal school, is ‘blue-collar’. This may be true for others in the scene, such as Suffocation and their relentless, rhythmic stomp-fests, but Immolation is a different beast. They are and have always been more feral than brutish, more sinister than surly. In sum, Immolation’s body of work delves into deep darkness far greater than the base belligerence of their peers, and ‘Shadows in the Light’ carries them ever further down that path.
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