Aside from Bolt Thrower, there appears to be no death metal band that is more devoid of criticism than the mighty Immolation. And that is completely appropriate. For over 20 years, the band has delivered consistently brutal records that are as heavy as they are strange. “Kingdom of Conspiracy” marks the ninth full-length record for the band, and is the logical continuation of the band’s sound.
“Kingdom of Conspiracy” has all of the hallmarks that put Immolation on the map. The bizarre, dissonant riffing of Robert Vigna is featured throughout every song, while Ross Dolan’s guttural, inhuman vocals decry society and religion. Throughout all of this intensity is the technical, rhythm-intensive drumming. While the drumming on every Immolation record is great, it is even more evident on “Kingdom of Conspiracy”. The sheer mechanical accuracy of Steve Shalaty’s footwork is impressive, and he effortlessly blasts his way through the record. Perhaps the reason for this performance standing out is not because it is any different from Immolation’s previous work, but because the drums are loud in the mix. In fact, it is the most prominent instrument on the record; however, it is worth mentioning that all claims of the drums ruining the record are severely exaggerated. Yes, they definitely would benefit from being a bit quieter, but they are nevertheless still impressive and enjoyable. One part of “Kingdom of Conspiracy” that is actually different from prior records is in the use of guitar solos. They were always Slayer-inspired (as well as filtered through Vigna's strange sense of melody), and showed up fairly often, but never to the extent they do on this record. It seems as though ominous leads and solos appear constantly, almost to the point where if Dolan isn’t screaming, you can expect to hear one of Vigna’s great leads.
In addition to providing satisfyingly brutal tunes, Immolation has also crafted some memorable parts. The beginning of closing track “All That Awaits Us” is reminiscent of “Close to a World Below”, which actually helps it stand out. The title track is another highlight, as is the powerful “Indoctrinate”. With that said, it does no justice to these songs to call them heavy, powerful, or brutal; they are simply death metal as done by Immolation, which is an experience so great that you really need to hear it to believe it. If you are familiar with the band already, expect nothing more than an enjoyable addition to their legacy.
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"Kingdom of Conspiracy"
"All That Awaits Us"
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott Dorfman