CD Reviews > Immolation

Immolation - Majesty & Decay
Nuclear Blast Records

Although Immolation are no strangers to the Extreme Metal scene – indeed, they’ve been forerunners setting the pace for Extreme Death Metal for two decades now! – their new Majesty & Decay is their first release for Nuclear Blast Records. And their musical fire burns bright – like a bonfire growing, flames licking high on the pitch black sky.

Hailing from Yonkers, NY, Immolation is: vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan, drummer Steve Shalaty, and guitarists Robert Vigna and Bill Taylor. Majesty & Decay continues the Immolation tradition of violently tackling tough social/political/religious issues, a raging inferno that destroys and cleanses everything in its path.

The haunting atmosphere of "Intro" forces us into the bleak landscape to come; there is no retreat. "The Purge" is a chaotic holocaust leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. "A Token Of Malice" is a firestorm burning out of control. Empirical musicianship punctuates the "Majesty & Decay" title track.

"Divine Code" shows how twisted beliefs can rise to glory before falling into an abyss; the song has fantastic albeit tyrannical guitars and blast beats! The raw "In Human Form" unleashes pure primal hate and fury. There’s a grim beauty to the musicianship in "A Glorious Epoch", which depicts masses being choked under the yoke of political dominance. "Interlude" is a stormy, ominous instrumental.

The dire "A Thunderous Consequence" is a desperate plea to bring soldiers home alive. The mournful "The Rapture of Ghosts" laments living only to die; cold lead guitar sounds like banshee wails. There’s also a fabulous solo with a hint of a Middle East flavor in the furious "Power & Shame", where greedy political and/or religious leaders hold their people in a vice like grip, ignoring those people’s cries and pleas. Musically, "The Comfort of Cowards" is like a blind, zombie-like march as it lyrically decries people killing in the names of their gods, of blindly following beliefs to the point of war.

~Athena Schaffer