I’m far from an Immolation fanboy. In fact, I’m a real late bloomer when it comes to these guys. It wasn’t until I recently (2011) picked up 1999s Failures For Gods that I started to get an appreciation for the band, picked up the back catalog and looked forward to each new release. And I have a confession to make; I purchased Dawn Of Possession back when it came out, but sold it right away. Shame on me.

So here we are 10 albums in and the old logo has been brought back. Right off the get go, detractors of 2013s Kingdom of Conspiracy will have  the same gripes; the overall sound is crisp and clean, almost too polished for this style of death metal. Also, as with that album, Atonement sees a more refined, accessible Immolation, but a band absolutely at the top of their songwriting game regardless.

Atonement contains some of the band’s best moments of the last few albums. Moments that encapsulate the bands influential legacy and moments that see the band try a few new tricks. From the classic churn of opener ‘The Distorting Light” to closer “Epiphany”, the core duo of Dolan and Vigna deliver unmistakably Immolation riffs; those backward, churning squealing riffs as heard on early tracks  “Fostering the Divide”, “Thrown to the Fire” and the title track that have influenced  countless bands.

But there are some sneaky moments on Atonement that show this old dog can be taught new tricks. “Rise the Heretics”, has  this kickass subtle little acoustics flourish that might be one of my favorite Immolation moments ever. “Destructive Currents” has some melody in the solos and some nice time changes in the expected miasma.

But where Immolation have and always have shined are tracks like “Lower”, “Above All” (another personal favorite), “The Power of Gods” and closer “Epiphany” with slower lurches  and atonal grooves as only Immolation can do. And ultimately, Atonement is Immolation still being Immolation after all these years. And that my friends, is a good thing.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 20th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    That’s quite the interesting story. You purchased “Dawn Of Possession” back when it came out, but sold it right away? Why? Did you at least listen to it once?

  2. Commented by: Allred

    Nice review…Finally, got to see them live last week, they put on a great show. I was so stoked that they were selling the new album already. \m/ Immolation rules, but I am an admitted fanboy.

  3. Commented by: diggedy1

    I had a similar experience with “Effigy of the Forgotten.” I thought it was garbage when I had first heard it. Only after about 2-3 years of time with the glory that was Pierced from Within did I eventually learn to appreciate and love Effigy, shame on me.

  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    @ Juan- i was knee deep in dismember and entombed, so if it wasnt that, i wasnt interested- i owned it for a while- listened too it then sold it

  5. Commented by: AR

    I can remember not really being into Immolation at first either, until I saw them live. Then, it just clicked. Been a fan ever since.

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