Review Summary: Three songs filled with what Immolation does best: devastating, destructive metal.
By just about anybody’s standards, fifteen minutes is not a very long time. And so, it’s easy to understand why at first glance it would seem that Immolation’s only EP thus far, the three song, fifteen minute-long Hope And Horror
, doesn’t contain all that much material. Fortunately, this assumption couldn’t be any farther from the truth, for in this quarter-hour, Immolation plays an album’s worth of relentless, bloodthirsty death metal, and these fifteen minutes may just be some of the best in their discography.
Hope And Horror
is, from a compositional standpoint, traditional Immolation: solos scream through the speakers, drums pound and riffs grind the listener’s skull to a pulp, and vocals roar while innumerable pinch harmonics are thrown around. That said, the songs feel quite original and are by no means carbon-copies of their predecessors, something largely due to the lack of a linear structure in any of the band’s albums. Hope And Horror
shows Immolation’s compositional skills at their strongest: every song snakes around unpredictably, though never aimlessly, and each of the riffs is sure to get the listener’s head bobbing up and down incessantly.
That said, as well-written as everything here is, the first two songs, Den Of Thieves and The Condemned, won’t exactly surprise longtime fans (although, this isn’t, in and of itself, very much of a fault, considering the quality of the music). Rather, their purpose is to build momentum for the album’s centerpiece: The Struggle Of Hope And Horror.
Along with Close To A World Below
’s title track, The Struggle Of Hope And Horror is arguably the most ambitious composition to be penned by Immolation to date. A seven minute-long instrumental, the song wastes not a moment to break into an array of some of death metal’s most impressive soloing and riffery that manages to be incredibly technical without ever becoming masturbatory.
And so, Hope And Horror
is a quick burst of misanthropic, blasphemous death metal that consists of two above-average Immolation songs and what may quite possibly be their best. And that should be reason enough for the attention of any self-respecting metal head.
The Struggle Of Hope And Horror
Den Of Thieves