In a world where few things are constant, it is reassuring to know that some things will never change, one of them being the Death Metal force known as IMMOLATION. The Death Metal genre is awash with thousands of crappy, unimaginative and faceless bands, but these guys sound unlike anything else – the grimy riffs, seemingly out-of-tune blasting, Ross Dolan’s deep-as-fuck growls, unorthodox song structures, you name it… Clearly these guys are on their own path.
Let’s first do a little recap: band formed way back in 1986 as RIGOR MORTIS, shortly afterward changing their name to IMMOLATION. A couple of demos were released in the late 80s and in 1991 this landmark Death Metal album was released. Of course the band is still going strong today, but many (myself included) still regard “Dawn Of Possession” as the band’s best output. Like I mentioned earlier, this is not your normal type of Death Metal, oh no, you can’t mosh to this, you can’t headbang to it, pretty much all you can do is sit back and let it take you – the journey might be painful at times, there might be blood involved, but at the end of the day it will all be worth it!! The first IMMOLATION album that I heard was the follow-up album, “Here In After” and because I liked the band’s approach so much I tracked down this one. Actually this album is more “normal” than most of the other IMMOLATION albums and songs like “Fall In Disease” and “Immolation” are pretty catchy, with doomy riffing giving way to speedy double-bass passages and unearthly soloing. The album opener, “Into Everlasting Fire” is another highlight, with its insane drum patterns and Dolan’s patented vox.
At the time when this one came out, most US Death Metal bands were just hitting their stride, like OBITUARY with “Cause Of Death” and MORBID ANGEL with “Blessed Are The Sick”, all albums that helped define a genre and even though they are genius, they all followed a rather structured approach. “Dawn Of Possession” didn’t and was all the better for it! The music of IMMOLATION isn’t as much technical as it is atonal – it’s almost as if they wrote a standard Death Metal song and then raped and mangled it beyond imagination, added a few leads here and there and then reassembled it - but it is as heavy as hell and possibly has the most diabolical atmosphere that you can ever imagine. Metal Mind did a good job here with this reissue (DigiPak format, yay!). Forget about all these Black Metallers running around in the woods – this is the real deal if you’re looking for music that’s from the underworld!! (Online October 19, 2006)