Greetings and salutations from sunny California! Once again, another amazing National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention has come and gone! There were a few surprises along the way, and as always, we had a great time checking out all the gear!
Dependability is crucial to any band’s fanbase and 2017 did not disappoint. All of the bands that we’ve come to depend on for great music more or less delivered the goods. One band stood out to us all were the death metal gods from Yonkers, New York, IMMOLATION. They continue to stand as a pillar for metal with their unending well of creativity and longevity. Atonement blew us away with its complexity, ominous atmosphere, and inventive brutality.
Enjoy our lists of our favorite albums of 2017. And remember: Buy or die!
The death metal gods from Yonkers, New York, IMMOLATION, will finally release album number 10, Atonement, on February 24th, 2017. The first song, “Destructive Currents,” is now online as a 360 degree video:
Atonement was recorded at Millbrook Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino, and mixed and mastered once again by Zack Ohren (ALL SHALL PERISH, DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION). Cover art was created by renowned artist Pär Olofsson (IMMORTAL, THE FACELESS, EXODUS, ABYSMAL DAWN), along with additional artwork by the very talented Zbigniew Bielak (GHOST, ENSLAVED, PARADISE LOST, WATAIN).
Comments vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan:
“We are excited that everyone will finally get a preview of what the new record has to offer. Atonement is a very dark and haunting album both musically and lyrically, commenting on the darker side of humanity and the world today. Each song on this album is unique in its own way, offering the listener a wide range of dark and sinister passages that I think really hone in on all the elements that make this band what it is.
“The sound of this record is exactly what we were hoping for, and we feel the production really gives these songs that massive sound and dark sinister feel they needed. Zack and Paul really nailed it with this one and made our tenth album our best sounding record to date. We are all very proud of what we have created here, and we hope everyone else will enjoy these 11 songs as much as we think they will.
“The song ‘Atonement‘ is about that blind fury and destructivnes of religious extremism regardless of where it comes from and under what religious banner it flies. The cover piece was inspired by a passage of lyrics from this song, and Par managed to create a visual for those four lines that just blew us away. So needless to say, we are very pleased with the overall look and feel of the album, which also includes 4 amazing pieces of artwork done by the extremely talented Zbigniew Bielak.
“We chose the song ‘Destructive Currents‘ as the first song to leak to the fans because it’s a fast and aggressive song that gets right down to business. It’s just dark and powerful, and I think it gives everyone a sense of whats in store for them with this release. Lyrically the song deals with the herd/mob mentality and how it gets fed, manipulated and exploited by outside forces. These are the currents of deception, misinformation and destruction, which are designed to mislead people. So that’s really the idea behind the song lyrically.”
KARYN CRISIS’ GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES have launched a video for the song, “The Ascent.” The song comes off of their powerful debut, Salem’s Wounds, which was released earlier this year via Century Media Records.
On the nature of “The Ascent” specifically and the release of the new video, Karyn Crisis comments: “The Ascent is about the transformative ancient rite of Death and Resurrection. It also alludes to the wisdom attained through attuning to the nature of energies which often appear to us as illusions of opposites. To be incarnated again we must first go through the death transition; we must enter the darkness to find the light; to hear the voice of the Universe we must go within, turning attention away from the physical world. Opposites are merely halves of a whole: masculine and feminine energies, the macrocosm and the microcosm, life and death.
“In pen and ink I drew a storyboard of the video that I sent to Bob Vigna, who filmed and edited the entire video. I explained to him I wanted to depict this rite of dying unto oneself, represented by the Hanged Man Tarot card.. For our story, I felt it was important to have the male Druids taking action in the first part of the story which is about a seeker in the physical world, and for the female Priestesses to complete the creative inward rebirthing process.
“I was inspired by a story authored by Carlo Napolitano where a character seeking answers to the Great Mysteries was hung upside down on a tree, with a mask tied to his face, gaining a previously unknown view of the world around him as pagan rituals took place around him. Bob elevated these ideas and turned them into a cohesive storyline that’s both tangible and earthly, dreamy and spiritual.”
It should be noted that KARYN CRISIS’ GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES features the IMMOLATION writing core of Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna.
Once again, another fruitful year in extreme music draws to a close. We saw some long awaited comebacks by legends, three quarters of the original SABBATH line up, VOIVOD and CARCASS. The godfathers of U.S. death metal had a healthy year with strong releases by SUFFOCATION, DEICIDE, and IMMOLATION. We also saw young superstars, GHOST B.C. and KVELERTAK, release good sophomore albums. Perhaps the most polarizing and criticized album is SATYRICON‘s self-titled album, which was roasted by the majority of the media and fans.
Among the mountains of releases, there is one album that we’ll gush about again and again, and that’s CARCASS‘ comeback album, Surgical Steel. There are always good and interesting albums coming out all the time, and then there are the untouchable albums that only the legendary bands could create. Surgical Steel scorches everything in its path and clearly shows that in the pantheon of active bands, they are at the top.
British extreme metal legends, CARCASS, will embark on a select amount of intimate headlining North American shows this September in support of their upcoming sixth full-length release, Surgical Steel. “Well we thought we’d play a few small key shows, kinda like the vibe we had in London earlier this year,” commented bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. “Maybe we’re being a bit optimistic thinking we can fill these venues? Well to make sure we do we’re bringing along some old friends & bands who will probably blow us away. We’re too much of a bunch of tight wads to throw a record release party so this is the closest you’ll get – come on down, and bring your receipt with the new album purchase and demand a refund!”
Confirmed dates are as follows:
9/21/13 Mac Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB
9/23/13 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL (w/ MACABRE)
9/25/13 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY (w/ IMMOLATION)
9/26/13 Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY (w/ IMMOLATION)
9/28/13 The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA (w/ EXHUMED)
New York death metal legends, IMMOLATION, have announced Kingdom of Conspiracy as the title of their upcoming ninth full-length album. The follow up to their 2010 release, Majesty and Decay, will be released on May 14th in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.
“We are really looking forward to getting the new CD out there to the fans,” commented guitarist Robert Vigna. “ I don’t think they are going to know what hit them after they hear this one! Kingdom of Conspiracy is one intense and miserably dark record!”
Catch the band on the Decibel Magazine Tour this Spring with CANNIBAL CORPSE and NAPALM DEATH. More details, including ticket info can be found at www.decibelmagazinetour.com.
New York death metal legends, IMMOLATION, recently entered Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino to record their ninth full-length album. The follow up to their 2010 release Majesty and Decay, will once again be mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren (DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION).
“Just got out of the studio a couple of days ago, here in Europe now getting ready to do some open air festivals,” commented guitarist Robert Vigna. “The new album will have 10 tracks of some of the most intensely dark material we have ever written! Very powerful and very heavy. Steve (Shalaty – drums) really pushed it all to the limits on this one too.
“Once again we went up to Millbrook, NY to do the main tracking. Paul Orofino got us some of the best sounds we’ve had yet! We were there for two weeks laying down tracks, having amazing Belgian beers at Paul’s in house bar ‘BarFunGul’, as well as plenty of BBQing! Throughout the time we were there we got through one blackout and dodged a very intense storm system that had the potential to cut our recording session real short. Luckily everything worked out. We still have to add some last touches on to the songs etc., as well as have Zack Ohren mix and master it all but so far everything is off to a great start.
“Be certain that this new album will surely be one of our strongest yet. We look forward to getting it all finished up soon and getting it out there as soon as possible for the fans!”
For photos of the band in the studio, check out the IMMOLATION Facebook page.
For a free download of their recent Providence EP visit http://www.scionav.com/collection/808
2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.
We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!!
Fresh off the release of last year’s Majesty and Decay album, IMMOLATION has once again conquered and solidified their part as being one of the most consistent and prolific death metal bands ever with Providence.
IMMOLATION wastes no time with any intros, and within seconds of “What They Bring,” you already sense that the EP will be brutal, blasphemous, and destructive to the ears. Ross Dolan’s vocals are still deep and brutal, but over the years, his enunciation style has become clearer without sacrificing brutality. Drummer Steve Shalaty has definitely topped IMMOLATION’s previous drummers with his technique and intricacy. And who can forget Robert Vigna’s twisted songwriting with his demonic riffs, perfectly placed pinch harmonics, and strange song structures? “Illumination” starts off with violas in the background, only to be unleashed with a fury of blasts and harmonics that make Christians cower in fear.
The title track slows the pace, but the brutality never diminishes. Something that haunted IMMOLATION in the past was poor production like on the Failures For Gods album, but much like Majesty’s production, Providence sounds clear, flawless, with plenty of low end. “Swallow the Fear” is one of the best songs IMMOLATION has written in the last few years, encasing their entire repertoire of killer riffs, drumming, and catchy vocal lines.
IMMOLATION is a band that is still going strong with fresh ideas and high quality songs, which is very promising, especially for a band that has been around for over two decades. This EP was released as a free download, so be sure to check them out live at a city near you and buy their merchandise so they can survive and keep writing excellent music, while putting these trendy “flavor of the month” bands to shame! (Scion A/V)