Saturday, March 27, 2010

Immolation - Majesty and Decay (2010)

Full Length, Nuclear Blast Records

Immolation, the unholy messiahs of death metal have returned with their 8th studio full length album which is christened as ''Majesty and Decay''. A change in label from Listenable Records to Nuclear Blast Records has certainly reaped good benefits for the band as there have been some innovations in the way the band used to write their music. The first major thing would be a pre-production which has been attempted by Immolation for the first time and secondly, covering a brief yet intimate footage of the song writing and recording procedure for all the die-hard fans like me to have a proper insight into the bestial ideas behind those staggeringly dark sounds. The recording took place at the Milbrook Recording Studios handled  by long time producer Paul Orofino and later mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren of Castle Ultimate Studios. These two gentlemen have played a pivotal role in giving shape to this abominable beast which was being nurtered in the respective wombs of their studios.
A zealous graphical output by the talented Par Olofsson has given a perfect imagery which the band really required for the new album. The artwork was really a breather for me and certainly par above than whatever the band had after Failures of Gods. Though I wish that they come back with the old logo which might be the wickedest ever created!

Now, after all the teasers, its finally time to do the ultimate revelation. So hold your hearts and numb your brains to await for the rupture which this evil progeny is going to cast upon your mortal figurines! Its something which is exclusively offered by Immolation, a macabre dosage of everything baleful and impious.

Ever since they shook the death metal underground with their cult debut Dawn of Possession, they haven't left any stone unturned in adding numerous feathers to their caps after each passing album and this one is no exception. I'd say that their previous installment, ''Shadows in the Light'' had a little ''accessible'' sound as compared to their earlier masterpieces but was yet able to create ghoulish scenarios with some aggresive song writing although the production had played spoilsport. But they have dutifully overcome these minor flaws on the newer album. It was pretty surprising to see an intro and an interlude being included with the album, something which hasn't been done ever by Immolation, but I later understood the purpose behind after giving it enough listens and I am sharing the same impressions which I perceived throughout the epic voyage.

After popping in the CD into my player, a shortlived yet effective intro welcomed me to the carnage which was about to follow and I got its first impression as soon as ''The Purge'' started. A sinister riff kick-started the proceedings to be followed by Ross' bowel churning growls and an epochal breakdown made my room tremble violently.
The rest of the track continued in a royal fashion, intertwined perfectly with dilligent instrumental ecstacy. Moments after I realized the amount of destruction the opening track had caused, I was exposed to the fury of ''A Token of Malice'', the opening lead of which left me chewing my nails with an extravagant jolt. Despite of being a shorter track, it left a deep seismic effect which would have easily shook the richter scale with its sheer ferocity. My already squashed brain began to ponder in a deep thought about this nefarious onslaught and the necessary light was provided by the upcoming tremors from the title track itself. Its grand opening was pretty similar to the raging cacophonies which follow an omniscient battle, a battle to remove the most despicable entity - mankind.

Very soon, I began to visualize this as a a catastrophe. Vigna and Taylor all prepared to tremble the earth with their sharpened axes and swords, Shalaty ready to tear apart the ears of the enemy with his menacing beats and Dolan leading the pack with his fiendish guttural roars warning the masses to stay prepared for tremendous annihilation. A few seconds after I had attained 'nirvana', 'Divine Code'' blasted off my senses and carried forth the battle wagon in a pretty similar fashion to its predecessor and unleashed a venomous contempt which ultimately left the throat of mankind pierced with the daggers of tyranny.
''A Glorious Epoch'' seemed ike a brutal ballad describing the glorious conquests and the suppression of betrayal after which the war march took  a brief pause with the ''Interlude'' after immense ruination but still creeped my ears with the bells of impending doom. ''A Thunderous Consquence'' began  with panache, reminding me  of the ancient rhythmistic slaying of Incantation, Immolation's brothers in blasphemy and malice. I was astounded to learn that the warriors still managed an inhumane hold on their weapons, not letting them go off control even for a single moment and hence creating a blissful flurry of sonic onslaughts which cuts through the lands and took control with might.

This bizarre devastation lead to a horrendous end and creating ''A Rapture of Ghosts''. Starvation, decay and merciless beatings dance around the endless shadows and rotting grandeur of humanity. ''Power and Shame'' and ''The Comfort of Cowards'' were pretty much like the testimonies of the failure of the majesty of the highest decree and announced that his glorious days were now about to end as the blinded masses would now fight free of possession or else die an inevitable death. And then, this compelling saga finally came to a dramatic end which paved way for an excruciating silence. A silence which was more disturbing than the cacophonies which had earlier slammed the veins of my sanity.

But this doesn't mean that the war has ceased. This sempiternal rage is a neverending havoc which would return to life once again as our illustrious warriors would raise their arms to envelop the world under the shadows of darkness and despair.

Till then, stay enraptured by this aural blitzkrieg and await for more such onslaughts to follow.

Final Rating - 9.5/10