Review Summary: Dark, twisted, crushing…this is what it’s all about.Didn’t you say…Jesus was coming?
This album is perfectly crushing, beautifully twisted, and utterly evil. Immolation
definitely captured the feeling of being in the deepest, most wretched fiery chasm of Hell and channeled it into this masterpiece of a record, appropriately entitled Close to a World Below
The riffs are always crushing and never disappointing; these guys certainly know how to write crushing riff after crushing riff while managing to have enough variation to keep the listener engaged. The album is mostly mid-tempo, and is well accented by its more all-out blasting riffs that are equally well executed and equally crushing. Rob Vigna is one hell of an axeman; the overall complexity of the riffs is quite high, but thankfully, songwriting and consistent brutality are never sacrificed for technicality. The solos also have quite a bit of variation, with some being more beautifully melodic and others being wailing and dissonant; both of these varieties are well-executed and always go with the flow of the song.
Banishment from the house of God is not what I fear,
For His kingdom is divided,
And His people shall stray
The drumming on the album is highly complex and far from being one-dimensional. The bass drums roll along nicely with the crushing riffs, and the fills are complex and frequent without turning into wankery. Blastbeats are used tastefully and to good effect and they never seem to be the same one twice, frequently varying in speed, use of cymbals, and kick beats. Many drummers will simply recycle the same blastbeat over and over, and while this is no travesty, it certainly doesn’t help an album as much as what is demonstrated on this. The drumming here is absolutely superb on all fronts.
Some of the tracks stand out above the rest. “Father, You’re Not a Father” features a very sinister and unique incorporation of melody, amazing dynamics, and like I’ve said many times before, very crushing riffs. “Lost Passion” opens with a Bolt Thrower
esque rhythm and alternates between rhythmic and melodic (not of the same variety of “Father You’re Not a Father”, these guys don’t use the same idea twice) riffs with, again, amazing dynamics. The title track is absolutely stunning; opening with some tremolo-picked melody lines, it slowly works its way into a quicker tempo with some incredible riffing and drumming and working its way back down into some of the most unholy death metal your ears will ever be scathed with.
The production does a lot for the album, too. A certain quality to the sound has been achieved on this record that I’ve not quite heard elsewhere. Too often, a good album will be marred by the production being far too clean and polished to the point of sounding poppy, or by it being far too muddy. The production on this album gives it a very dense, crunchy feeling that makes the already crushing riffs absolutely devastating. The bass is perfectly audible as well, which also adds to the brutality of the album.
My devotion to You was complete,
I’ve carried the weight of Your cross
Ross Dolan’s deeply guttural croak also fits the music quite well. His delivery is utterly evil, brutal, anything else you can think of to describe an awesome death metal vocalist. The lyrics are, for the most part, perfectly intelligible, and it’s good to know that they aren’t half-assing them, as they are very well written.
has proven themselves as one of the top death metal bands with this album. With flawless riffs, drumming, vocals, and solos, this album is essential for any death metal fan. Please, if you’re a fan of the genre and haven’t heard this yet, do yourself a favor and get it. You won’t be disappointed.
Glorious flames…consume us all,
Bring us closer…to a God below,
Far are we…from everlasting joy,
Close we are…to a world below