Immolation
Kingdom of Conspiracy


3.5
great

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
May 17th, 2013 | 202 replies | 15,087 views


Release Date: 05/10/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent album in it's own right, though overshadowed by previous efforts.

As one of the finest acts in the death metal scene, Immolation’s stylistic rut basically guarantees one textbook record after another. But how many times can a band go through the motions before their output is rendered stale? Given that their sound is yet to be effectively imitated by any other act since it was perfected in 1996, you would think Immolation are free to replicate their formula over and over without the need to worry about stagnation. But if a discography consists entirely of sublime but similar records, it’s going to result in a catalogue littered with disposable records irrespective of their inherent quality. Although Immolation’s latest album is excellent in its own right, when you have Close to a World Below or Here in After beckoning, Kindom of Conspiracy looks like it will be lost in translation as the years pass, overshadowed by similar albums more remarkable than itself.

It comes as no surprise that Kingdom of Conspiracy is a top notch collection of death metal riffs. Robert Vigna once again demonstrates his immense technical skill, weaving in and out between periods of chaotic tremolo strumming and atonal, dissonant riffs, as well as the ever foreboding Immolation pinch harmonics. The bass work is predictably inaudible, drowned out by brickwalled guitar mixing and very loud drums. You can make it out here and there, but unfortunately it’s mostly during brief periods of lingering guitar chords, meaning you completely miss out on Ross’s basswork when the band is going at full speed. Ross definitely makes up for his lack of instrumental presence with his vocals however. While they don’t possess the same demented ferocity as they did on Close to a World Below for example, they still manage to terrify without being overbearing. Despite being too high in the mix, the drumming performance of Shalaty is very impressive. In between extended phases of lightning footwork and fleeting but hard-hitting blasts, the guy manages to execute fill after fill with atomic clock-like precision. As is the norm with Immolation’s music, the instrumentation is spell-binding, but the album is unfortunately lacking in a few critical areas, perhaps most notably, in atmosphere.

In terms of writing, there is a slight regression in that the songs are a little too predictable to really catch you off guard and wow you. At no point are you going have a heart attack as we did when Alex Hernandez assaulted his kit out of nowhere two minutes into “Father, You’re Not a Father”. While the writing certainly isn’t formulaic, it seems there isn’t the same attention to detail poured into this release as to how each song would go about terrifying the listener. This isn’t helped by the lack of dynamic range in the production, as to be expected, Nuclear Blast were intent on making everything as loud as possible, all the time. The production isn’t atrocious, but it certainly does sap some of the energy from the more intense parts. Qualms with the production aside, Kingdom of Conspiracy still manages to be both immediate and memorable. While it may initially come across as a little homogenous, repeated listens do reveal some notable diversity. Immolation may have let their song-writing slip a little, they are still as good as ever at creating infectious and enduring riffs. “Bound to Order”, “God Complex” and “Serving Divinity” are among the most varied on the record, and it’s no coincidence they’re some of the strongest and most recognisable on the album.

It becomes apparent after the first few tracks that Kingdom of Conspiracy is not going to be hailed as Immolation’s magnum opus in years to come. In fact, given its competition, it’s unlikely to be regarded as even an above average offering from the New Yorkers. That’s the problem with being so good at what they do; they can reel off album after album in complete reassurance of a positive reception, but there are bound to be points where some are just less great than others. Kingdom of Conspiracy is a worthwhile addition to Immolation’s discography, but being “worthwhile” is sadly not a reason to celebrate when you’re the product of band from which faultlessness is expected.

Recommended Tracks:

Bound to Order
God Complex
The Great Sleep
Serving Divinity



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user ratings (179)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
trainofconsequence (4.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2013



11354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just my two cents, constructive criticisms welcome.

Digging: Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye

TheSpirit
May 17th 2013



16657 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

By Immolation's and death metal's standards this sucks. The review was a bit by the numbers but still pretty good and obviously the best one written for it so far.

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Gwyn.
May 17th 2013



13965 Comments


I don't really like the summary all that much, I think it should say more and be more essential to the review, but then I didn't use summaries for any of my other reviews except one where I quoted lyrics, so what do I know

'Sides that review is fine, even if I think you relied too much on the whole "Not as good as (X) from the past"

Pos

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


"they still manage to evoke terror and rage in the listener"

Did the vocals really terrify you and evoke unfounded rage within you?




Really?

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2013



11354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A little hyperbole doesn't hurt.
In case you're wondering, no I didn't have a heart attack listening to Father You're Not a Father either.

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 17th 2013



5605 Comments


Nice rev,pos'd ...i started to enjoy this album recently so i had to up my rating from 3 to 3.5

FrozenVain
May 17th 2013



2262 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I pretty much agree with everything you stated here. The third paragraph is spot-on. Well done, Jac.


fromtheinside
May 17th 2013



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this isn't a very good album

their groove failed them

Digging: Bast - Spectres

oltnabrick
May 17th 2013



29282 Comments


This band is like The National of death metal [2]


backed hard

Digging: Ben Frost - A U R O R A

fromtheinside
May 17th 2013



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol did u just make groove a genre dragon?

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


He didn't say it was groove, he said their groove failed them. As in their niche that always kept them relevant as a consistently great death metal band.



fromtheinside
May 17th 2013



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you're not following here.

i said they lost their groove.


oltnabrick
May 17th 2013



29282 Comments


get some sleep, you deserve it

fromtheinside
May 17th 2013



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wtf is neck?

fromtheinside
May 17th 2013



16352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

are you telling him to hang himself?

is that ban worthy?

SubtleBody
May 17th 2013



519 Comments


I don't know, all I'm reading is "Neck oltna. Neck oltna."

Definitely seems like you want oltna to be hanged.

Gwyn.
May 17th 2013



13965 Comments


seems like it to me!

BigPleb
May 17th 2013



28407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Sup gwyn.

Gwyn.
May 17th 2013



13965 Comments


suuuup

is this worth checking if i've only heard CtaWB

BigPleb
May 17th 2013



28407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yeah gwyn, it riffs kinda hard.

What you doing man?



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