(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.