I feel honoured to do such a review. If it was another band I could surely say I was caught by surprise. But not with these guys. One of the few bands that has never let metalheads down is New Yorkers Immolation. One of the few bands to also have personal sound that can’t be reproduced, no matter how much others could try and follow them. They stand until today as kings in a world where fake and repetition tries to take control. The phenomenal cover of this album couldn’t fit more to the music. They rule and they know it, only this time there is no mercy.

In these 45 minutes of their last effort and first for the colossus called Nuclear Blast Records, Immolation manage to leave us speachless. How can somebody describe this morbid and grim atmosphere in their music? How can your soul not feel in the grasp of something that will soon tear it apart? How can’t the sense of fear and inferiority overcome your whole existence while listening to the first notes of ”The Purge” and ”A Token Of Malice”? How can’t the title track convince you that this is real and you are profoundly helpless?

The dynamic duo of ”Divine Code” and ”In Human Form” maims your soon to be corpse in much pieces, until ”A Glorious Epoch” brings darkness to earth, with its whistling riff getting inside your vains like a drug you don’t want to get rid off. ”A Thunderous Consequence” and ”The Rapture Of Ghosts” mangle your mind with no hesitation, and when you think it is finally over, ”Power And Shame” and ”The Comfort Of Cowards” kill you and resurrect you from the beginning and what you knew of your former life is long gone and never to return again.

I haven’t listened to such a complete release for about two years. It’s amazing how a death metal album can create such a suffocating atmosphere. It’s amazing how the level of compositions has been raised to their last three albums. ”Harnessing Ruin” and ”Shadows In The Light” had set the stage that something big was following but even if we know how great Immolation is, this is beyond imagination. Robert Vigna kept his best for this album and Ross Dolan sounds in his best shape ever in the two decades of the band’s existence.

What we call blackness, finds its definition in this album. This awe is what somebody would feel in the old years when Celtic Frost released records back in the day. I don’t know how else to state this. A great lesson that music doesn’t get in genres and if you want something that is atmospheric, pitch black like a starless night, doomy as hell in parts and thrashing its way to absolute greatness. This album has it all. Except one last thing: There is absolutely no decay in Immolation’s music. Only pure majesty. Blessed be the ones to feel its uniqueness and live with it through the years to come…

Track List Line Up
01. Intro
02. The Purge
03. A Token Of Malice
04. Majesty And Decay
05. Divine Code
06. In Human Form
07. A Glorious Epoch
08. Interlude
09. A Thunderous Consequence
10. The Rapture of Ghosts
11. Power And Shame
12. The Comfort Of Cowards
Ross Dolan – Vocals, Bass
Robert Vigna – Guitar
Bill Taylor – Guitar
Steve Shalaty – Drums