Close to a POLL below - the inevitable overdue IMMOLATION albums poll

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I begin with a story to explain why this band means so much to me. soooooo...

I'm an 18 year old freshman at Florida State University who has only just gotten into extreme metal, and the only death metal band I listen to really is Cannibal Corpse. I'm hanging on DALnet in #mp3_death, and downloading random shit, some of it which I think sucks, some which sticks. a few of which are Immolation tracks from Here in After. I like em enough, and I head to Spec's Music and pick up their latest, Failures for Gods, mostly because it has the coolest album cover I've seen in eons. Barely catch the bus home in time to make it back to my dorm.

I put it on and it's a bit different from the Here in After tracks, it has an annoying clicky bass drum, the production is REALLY murky and not all that approachable, and at first i'm like "the fuck?". but it grows on me fast, esp the vocals and the "CAN YOU HEAR US? DEATH TO JESUS" part of "No Jesus, No Beast".

anywho, at this point, I've been to like maybe 5 concerts in my life at this point in time, and most of them were BIG shows. Chicago, Aerosmith and Metallica at an arena, Foo Fighters and Candlebox at a club that holds a few thousand. and I see Immolation are coming to the Cow Haus in Tallahassee, where I've never been but heard a lot about.

I picked up a ticket and then began to walk to the venue (5 miles away). I barely knew the direction from mapquest directions I'd memorized, but I was getting horribly lost. I'm headed in the general direction of the place though and about a mile or two away, this dude who is clearly drinking malt liquor in his car asks me if I need a ride. being young and reckless and dumb, I said "sure", and he didn't ask me for anything at all, just kept drinking and driving and drops me off just as I requested at the Cow Haus.

I'm walking up expecting a huge turnout, like a few hundred people, and am stunned to see like, maybe ten people in the club. The opening act is a terribly generic death metal band with a vocalist who sounds like David Vincent if he's weight-lifting and the barbell fell on his chest. The drummer also does vocals but he sounds like a deathy Tom Delonge. The second opener is Spinecast, who never really made it big but had some underground following, and they're kickass. By now the crowd has swelled to a neat 20 people, all of whom are very into it.

Immolation take the stage and we're all enjoying the fuck out of it, it's my first death metal show ever, and they're killing it. Afterwards, my shy 18-year old self goes up to Bob Vigna to tell him good show, and I then walked 5 miles home in the wee hours of the morning through some pretty rough areas of town.

though I'd see them as an opener again after that, it was another 25 years before I finally saw them do a headlining set again, due to some bad luck with scheduling over the years. My best friend (who is 15 years younger than me) is going with me to see them and Imperial Triumphant, and Immolation are all standing inside the infamous Subway near our local metal venue. I start warbling "oh sweet, it's them! That's Ross, that's Bob!", and my friend says "get out of the car"

at first I'm like "did I do something", and she says "no, clearly you want to talk to them because you're excited, so go do it! come on! say hello, I'll meet you inside"

so I went up to them and awkwardly talked about how they were my first death metal show ever and how it was so cool to see them headline again as an adult. it was a fun full circle.

anyway my vote is Close to a World Below because it's just pure evil sounding. "Father, You're Not a Father" is just exquisitely written using simple harmonic/rhythmic ideas that just work so well. putting it on as we speak.

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 05:58 (six months ago) link

Love these guys, though I came to them late; I didn't start listening until Majesty and Decay and the Providence EP. I've written long reviews of Atonement and Acts of God for Burning Ambulance. I think I'm gonna vote for Atonement in this poll, just because the broadening of their lyrical subject matter made that album feel...deeper, somehow, than what had come before (and deeper than the work of most of their peers).

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Tuesday, 14 November 2023 15:22 (six months ago) link

they have so many very good albums, it's staggering

ivy., Tuesday, 14 November 2023 16:31 (six months ago) link

Ross is funny to me because he looks like a dude who wrote a self-help book and then gets on-stage and gets intense as all fuck.

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 15 November 2023 16:22 (six months ago) link

For a long time the only metal I listened to was black metal, death metal just wasn't for me. Immolation is one of the first bands, maybe the first actually, that made me go 'wait a minute...'. I'll have to listen to the pre-2000 albums before I can feel qualified for voting.

Dinsdale, Wednesday, 15 November 2023 21:03 (six months ago) link

Not listened to anything post-2000 but Dawn of Possession was pretty foundational for me anyway, so will have to go for that.

I would prefer not to. (Chinaski), Wednesday, 15 November 2023 21:15 (six months ago) link

I really think "Unholy Cult" might be their second best song ever.

and it contains this thing they did on this album and few others where they'd play a riff pattern multiple times and each repetition would add a new piece on top, then reverse it and take a piece off one at a time

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Thursday, 16 November 2023 23:23 (six months ago) link

holy fuck, they're playing "Once Ordained" on this tour. the first song of theirs I ever heard/liked.

and "HIgher Coward" from Close to a World Below. wowowow

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Thursday, 16 November 2023 23:26 (six months ago) link

I've only heard Dawn of Possession which I like but have just downloaded Here In After in honour of this poll

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 16 November 2023 23:57 (six months ago) link

I imagine it confused a bunch of fans at the time. Very much a transitional album..., five years after Dawn. though a good one.

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Friday, 17 November 2023 00:28 (six months ago) link

I'm leaning towards Unholy Cult now. never was my favorite at the time, but the writing on this thing is immaculate, the drumming and drum production very organic (it'd get as sterile-y produced as all metal would eventually by next album).

vocals also breathe well, they're processed much more nowadays and it dampens Ross's roar. none of which to say I don't like new Immolation as they haven't made a bad album IMO

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 22 November 2023 20:07 (five months ago) link

weirdly I think the latest one from last year is my least favorite. it isn't 'bad', but comparing it side by side with Atonement, Atonement just has a lot more ideas going on, melodically. Acts of God runs out of steam after the first few tracks

a very very unfair (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 22 November 2023 21:32 (five months ago) link

Cannibal Corpse are sort of in the same position IMO - the new album is good, but a clear step down from the one before.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Wednesday, 22 November 2023 21:50 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 29 November 2023 00:01 (five months ago) link

Their songwriting can be a bit dense and muddy and difficult to follow, but when they have ideas, guitars especially, they shine bright and come out clear. Overall I quite enjoy them. I relistened to The Unholy Cult and Here in After and I think my vote is still CTAWB by default because of its superior consistency.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 29 November 2023 18:20 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 30 November 2023 00:01 (five months ago) link

Thought this was the Elon Musk thread for a second.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 30 November 2023 01:57 (five months ago) link

voted Dawn due to peak faves like Those Left Behind and After My Prayers, but if I had to recommend one album it would be Close To A World Below, where they created the sound of hellfire

Paul, Friday, 1 December 2023 16:47 (five months ago) link

People who like Immolation should check out Phobocosm. They put out a new album this week, so I bought their whole discography, and they really have a grip on the whole morose death-doom thing.

Tahuti Watches L&O:SVU Reruns Without His Ape (unperson), Friday, 8 December 2023 21:20 (five months ago) link

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