Immolation, Acts Of God (Nuclear Blast 2022)

New York death metal icons Immolation let loose their eleventh studio album, Acts Of God.

After a couple of early name changes, Immolation got going in 1988. Their first full-length album, Dawn Of Possession (1991), planted a death metal flag that still flies. The new album has been five years in the making and fans are ready to reap the rewards of the long wait. Acts Of God certainly fits the bill. The band is Ross Dolan (bass, vocals), Robert Vigna (guitar), Steve Shalaty (drums), and Alex Bouks (guitar).

There are fifteen tracks on the album, including a couple of transitional pieces. Dolan’s rough vocals are the first thing about Immolation that imprints on your memory when you listen. The percussion and rhythm have such an unswerving reliability that they show themselves as co-necessities up front as well. The lead and melody guitarwork sail sublime seas whenever they appear. Their music is a full-force attack from every angle.

I love “Noose Of Thorns” because it is so dreary and oppressive with a caustic grind and shimmering lead break. “Blooded” is another stand-out, with the guitars seeming in a way to be mercurial. And then there is “Incineration Precession,” establishing immediately its breath-taking insistence and sure-footed forward push that cannot be resisted. These three songs might be my most preferred, but there is something remarkable that can be said about each one in the set.

There are a few heavy bands out there that have been around as long as Immolation, but there aren’t many at all that can match them. This new album is exceptional. I can tell already after a couple of listens that it will be one of my favorites of theirs. Highly recommended.

Acts Of God is out now through Nuclear Blast Records. Check out the links below. Immolation is on tour right now as well so catch them live if you can.

Links.

Immolation website, https://www.immolation.info/acts-of-god

Bandcamp, https://immolation.bandcamp.com/album/acts-of-god

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/immolation

Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/immolation-acts-of-god.html

Immolation, Acts Of God (Nuclear Blast 2022)

King Buffalo, Acheron (2021)

The second album of a proposed trilogy from King Buffalo is Acheron.

King Buffalo is a heavy psychedelic rock trio from Rochester. They have been quite prolific in the last lustrum, and their new album is the second of 2021. They excel musically at the long form and Acheron is a welcome showcase for their talents. The band is Sean McVay (guitar, vocals, keys), bassist Dan Reynolds (bass), and Scott Donaldson (drums).

Each song on the new album is about ten minutes long, and there are four of them. “Acheron.” You hear dripping water, running water, then a guitar. Percussion and rhythm. Gentle vocals in a surprisingly upbeat tone for a song sung in a cave (the album was recorded underground at Howe Caverns in New York). Punctuating coarse intrusions do not despair the languid underlying currents, even when the roughhousing guitar takes the lead for an extended time.

“Zephyr” has a different attitude, a more active demeanor. Still there is the gentleness, which we can begin to interpret by now as intrepidness. The guitar leads are expansive, as if moving toward an ideal that has been established by the keys. “Shadows” I find to be more reflective than the first two tracks, more introspective. It ticks and pulls at your inner core.

“Cerberus” is the deepest song, in my hearing. It feels dank and unsettling, a little frightening, even. The distorted lead guitar claws at the fabric of reality, searching for a way out (or maybe a way in). The tension grows and builds all the way to the end where the riff gives no respite. The music is dramatic and powerful.

There is no telling where the third part of the series will land. So far, though, with the first two sessions locked in, it looks for all the world like the totality will be something special. Make sure you hear The Burden of Restlessness and then go spelunking with Acheron. Highly recommended.

Acheron is out now. Look to the band’s website or Bandcamp for hardcopies and/or stream it wherever you stream.

Live photo by Wayne Edwards, State Theatre, Portland, Maine, 2021.

Links.

Website, https://kingbuffalo.com/

Bandcamp, https://kingbuffalo.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/kingbuffaloband

King Buffalo, Acheron (2021)