May 172013

(In this post TheMadIsraeli begins what may become a continuing series on notable metal guitarists.)

I’ve outright stated and hinted at numerous other times that I’m a guitar player; even though my choice of instrument within the metal realm is pretty standard, that’s just the one that sucked me in.  I’ve always wanted to do a continuing feature on guitarists whose work I felt was extremely noteworthy, whether or not I was a fan of their work on a personal level.  It should be understandable, though, that I’m mostly gonna pick guitarists to write about who I’m into.  I figured that before reviewing Immolation’s new album, I’d start with someone who I believe has remained an anomaly in the death metal circuit: Robert Vigna of Immolation.

I’m pretty sure no one would disagree with me if I made the statement that as a riff writer, Vigna is just fucking weird.  Out of all of the fantastic guitar players of the 90’s death metal giants, Vigna is definitely the mad scientist of the bunch.  While other bands opted to be simply crushing, Immolation opted in the end to be very eerie, in a very earthy way.  Vigna’s guitar work is both a signature, and a vital component, of that sound.  I’ve heard the term “simple technicality” used to describe Gojira, but I would say that if any band best defined this term, it’s Immolation.

Vigna, of course, like so many musical geniuses, evolved from a place rather far removed from what he became known for.  Immolation’s first record was for the most part straight-up, fast-as-fuck, firebrand death metal, with only hints of the signature Immolation trudge-and-groove that would later become their hallmark.  As such, it didn’t leave a lot of room for what would later come to define Vigna’s playing, although Dawn of Possession definitely stood out nonetheless.  It wouldn’t be until the band’s sophomore album, Here in After, released a full FIVE YEARS LATER, that you’d be hearing a completely different band. Continue reading »

May 082013

Although I’ve been temporarily distracted by such things as Tim Lambesis getting arrested for soliciting murder, Frank Palmeri getting his shit zapped in Russia, and this guy (who used to play some licks for Obituary and Six Feet Under) getting arrested for running a meth lab — after calling the cops himself — I finally remembered that metal is about the music. So here’s some actual music and music news that I came across this morning.


Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that NYDM legends Immolation have a new album (Kingdom of Conspiracy) coming out on May 13. Although I’m the sort of fan who would buy the album without hearing any of it (because it’s fuckin’ Immolation, and they seem to just get stronger with age), others may wish to hear it first. And you can now do that because today the full album went up for streaming exclusively at Terrorizer. Go HERE to listen.


Sweden’s Arckanum also have a new album coming. Entitled Fenris Kindir, it’s due for North American release by Season of Mist on May 14. Explaining the album’s name and concept, Arckanum main man Shamaatae is quoted as saying this: “The sounds and music on this album are my auditory vision of the march of Fenrir convoyed with his hordes of giant wolves from the depths of the underworld to face Ragna Rök with warlike glory – deformed giant-wolves swarming in thousands. This is my tribute to the wrathful, harsh and untamed anti-nature of Fenrir’s mighty essence! The anti-cosmic enemy of the worlds! Heill Tungls Tjúgari! Heilir Fenris Synir!” Continue reading »

Apr 082013

Continuing what has turned into a content-packed Monday, we’re packaging in this post features on the latest track premiere by Immolation, a new discovery from Greece (Damned Creed), and mysterious new artwork by Paolo Girardi.


No one with any sense really needs to be teased further about Immolation’s new album, because all sensible metalheads have already resolved to lay hands on it as soon as possible. But we’re getting teased again anyway.

Not long ago MetalSucks exclusively debuted yet another song from the forthcoming Kingdom of Conspiracy release — and it’s available for free download via the widget on their site. The song is a titanic bruiser powered by tremolo’d grinding, bullet-spitting drumfire, wraithlike soloing, and enough tempo shifts to keep you off balance while your head bangs merrily away. Continue reading »

Mar 282013

There’s a song in this little round-up of new stuff that’s an outlier on this site. To make it go down easier, I’ve sandwiched it in between two slices of festering filthiness. You’re welcome.


One week ago Immolation debuted the title track from their forthcoming album Kingdom of Conspiracy, which will be discharged on May 14 by Nuclear Blast. I wrote about it then, praising it as a song that sinks its teeth into your neck but transfixes your attention while you bleed out with shifting dynamics and the effective incorporation of infected melodies in the midst of bludgeoning riffage.

Yesterday the band released a lyric video for the song, and while I would have selfishly preferred a new track, this one can stand being heard again (and again). Here’s the new lyric video for “Kingdom of Conspiracy”: Continue reading »

Mar 212013

2013 inches forward, bringing us closer to a host of new albums we’ve been highly anticipating, including the new release by NYDM veterans Immolation. Their forthcoming album is named Kingdom of Conspiracy, and it will be discharged on May 14 by Nuclear Blast.

Today, DECIBEL magazine began streaming the album’s title track at their online site, and man is it merciless. At the outset, the drums go at about 1000 bpm, the guitars grind viciously, and Ross Dolan sounds like a goddamned demon grisly bear. But the song is a lesson in shifting dynamics and the effective incorporation of infected melodies into descending waves of bludgeoning riffage.

There’s a reason why this band are still death metal royalty more than two decades after they began their musical life: they still know how to write songs that sink their teeth into your neck but keep your attention transfixed while you’re bleeding out. Continue reading »

Mar 052013

About to begin Day 9 away from home. Still working day and night on that project for my fucking day (and night) job. Averaging four hours of sleep a night. Brain is fried. Unable to write complete sentences any more.

Wasn’t able to check my NCS email at all until late last night. Had no chance to surf the web for new music. Haven’t listened to metal in 24 hours. Starting to get the withdrawal shakes.

Did see these things when I checked my e-mail.


Fucking Immolation’s new album is named Kingdom of Conspiracy. Super-badass cover art was unveiled — created by the immortal Pär Olofsson. Super badass. Continue reading »

Feb 222013

I couldn’t monitor metal news as closely yesterday and the day before as usual, so I tried to catch up last night. I saw and heard a lot that interested me. But I hit one stretch when, by chance, I listened to six new songs in a row that were . . . horrific . . . and horrifically good. The first three of those are in this post — from Azrath-11 (Italy), Humanity Delete (Sweden), and Lantern (Finland). The next three will be in a subsequent post. But first, a bit of welcome news from . . .


A new Immolation album? Yes please!

At a time when Slayer seems to be immolating itself after 30 years of existence, Immolation are still going strong in their 27th year. Yesterday they announced that Kingdom Of Conspiracy is the title of their ninth full-length album and that Nuclear Blast will release it on May 14 in North America.

This follows 2010’s Majesty And Decay and the strong 2011 EP Providence.  Very stoked for this. Continue reading »

Jan 232013

I think this qualifies as a HOLY FUCKING SHIT moment, and if you disagree then your mouth must be much better behaved than mine.

Word leaked last week about this tour, but yesterday it was confirmed, and dates were disclosed. The second annual DECIBEL MAGAZINE TOUR will include Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, and Immolation. In other words, genuine death metal and grind royalty from both sides of the Atlantic.

Other face-ripping bands will join the sonic evisceration party on selected dates: Beyond Creation, Cretin, and Magrudergrind.

I have to say that DECIBEL is not fucking around, any more than they did last year for the Euro-centric inaugural edition of this tour (which featured Behemoth, Watain, The Devil’s Blood, and In Solitude). It’s refreshing to see a tour packaged without any effort to pander in any way to the tastes of people who don’t want to get their fuckin’ teeth kicked in. Continue reading »

Jan 132012

This is Part 19 — the final Part — of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released in 2011. Each day since we started this list, I’ve been posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

All good things must come to an end, and today I’m ending this list with the final three songs. Yes, there are three songs today instead of the two per-day that appeared in every previous installment of this series. And that means the list is ending with 39 songs — an odd number for a list (in both senses of the word) — but wtf, I myself am odd.

In the next day or two, we’ll pull together every song we’ve named to this 2011 list in a single post where all of them can be streamed, and with links for each one back to the original features where we added them to the list. Tomorrow, we’ll also have an “Honorable Mention” list, though it’s not really a list of extreme metal songs that narrowly missed being included here. I’ll explain tomorrow. Now, let’s wrap this thing up.


Schwarzpfad is probably my favorite 2011 black metal album of all the ones I heard last year. You could probably figure that out based on how often we wrote about Kroda last year. Our latest mention was in a post that included video of the band playing a live set on December 18 at the OSKOREI festival in Kiev, Ukraine. Before that, Schwarzpfad showed up on Andy Synn’s list of the year’s Critical Top 10 albums, as well as his list of 2011’s Great Albums. Continue reading »

Oct 232011

(We’re fortunate to have a return visit from our guest contributor The Baby Killer, with his review of the new Immolation EP released for free by Scion A/V.)

We all love hearing success stories in death metal; bands withstanding the test of time and consistently pumping out quality tunes for years and years. Everyone knows the big names like Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation et al, but one name you don’t hear often enough is Immolation. More than two decades have passed since the band first put music to tape, and they’re still standing strong, ready and willing to go toe-to-toe with any modern death metal band, and as their brand new EP Providence shows, these New York veterans still pack a mean punch.

If one were to sum up this EP in one word, it would have to be “ominous”. Each of the five songs has its own individual flow and feel, but they are all tied together by a sense of foreboding, something Immolation have always been good at capturing in their music. From the opening track “What They Bring” to the closer “Swallow the Fear”, the band’s twenty-plus years of expertise in all things dark and evil shines through, permeating everything from Ross Dolan’s signature monstrous growls to the beefy, precise drumming of Steve Shalaty. Many newer bands would do well to take notes on Immolation, because if you’re trying to sound evil, it’s not about how low your guitar is tuned or how many dead priests you have on your album art — it’s about the tone, pure and simple.

Another thing that stood out to me about Providence was that it seems to follow a much steadier beat than the majority of the band’s previous efforts. When they first came around, Immolation were notorious for their syncopation and unconventional time signatures (I’m pretty sure “No Jesus No Beast” is in 3/3, or something close to it), but this time around they seem more focused on creating a steady, driving rhythm tailor-made for head banging and scene-kid stomping. This is obviously not a bad thing, though, and for two reasons. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »