Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Immolation – Dawn of Possession [1991]

Something about Immolation’s debut album “Dawn of Possession” was just… special. Immolation have never really sounded much like other death metal bands, I mean, you can compare them to Incantation and Autopsy (the two bands their sound is closest to) all you like, but there was still something to their sound that sets “Dawn of Possession” apart from the other classic death metal albums that were released around the same time…

Perhaps it was the rhythmic experimentation present in the way that the drums and riffs worked together; with the drums following the guitar instead of the other way ‘round as per the norm, or maybe it was the way their two guitarists played off each other and created tension within the riffs, or it could have just been the well thought out song structures that set Immolation apart. Whatever it was, “Dawn of Possession” was and still is one of the most important death metal albums of the early ‘90s.

The first thing I always notice when I hit the play button when this is in my stereo is how truly sinister and evil Immolation managed to sound at the time. Utilizing insane tempo changes and subtle elements of technical prowess, the songs flow effortlessly between mid-paced thrash stomps and all out blasting death metal tempos, occasionally slowing it down to a total crawl. The drum, bass and guitar work featured on this record is some of the most well played metal you will ever hear… forget those ridiculously over the top techwank bands that pop up all over the place these days; Immolation already blew them out of the water way back in 1991. Special mention also needs to be made in regards to Ross Dolans’ vocals; this man is the reason death metal vocals sound the way they do today.

The production on “Dawn of Possession” is cavernous and crushing, yet clean enough to allow the instruments to breathe and show their worth. It is one of the most suitable mix jobs you will ever hear on an album.

Each and every song is a classic; leaving me completely unable to choose any particular favourites and I really cannot imagine listening to this album any other way than as a complete piece. Because that’s what this is: a total masterpiece of mind-blowing American death metal perfection. There are a few death metal albums that I, personally, would hold over this one in terms of greatness, but not many.

Into Everlasting Fire
Dawn of Possession
After My Prayers
Those Left Behind
Despondent Souls
Burial Ground

Final Rating 
Masterpiece [9.9/10]