Thursday, February 23, 2012

Immolith - Storm Dragon [2012]

Immolith are a four-piece band hailing from the United States that have been around since 2008 and have recently released their debut album, “Storm Dragon.” They play their black metal in a style that’s been widely prevalent, performed and performed again by bands since around the 90’s, when the second wave of black metal saw its inception and grew to accommodate both great and generic bands. It’s an album filled with, for the most part, pretty much only straightforward black metal in its purest form, with a clear production and certain standout traits thrown here and there that boost the album’s overall quality.

After a fifty-five second, slightly boring and unnecessary intro, the album blasts into full force with “Torch of Baphomet.” This is a track that, along with pretty much the rest of their album, will not surprise listeners as it lacks some originality and it’s been played previously by other bands. It’s comprised of the typical tremolo-picking that’s used in black metal, and the vocals don’t differentiate from other bands’ either, bringing about high-pitched shrieks that penetrate the atmosphere. The vocals are performed well and delivered as such, but that’s not their most appealing trait, even if it is quite decent. The main focal point of Immolith’s music, albeit not one that is mind-blowing either, is the riffing. It’s, as previously stated, tremolo picking with decently formulated combinations of notes flowing together, and there’s lots of changes seen throughout songs, which makes up for their lack of originality. At 2:50 in the aforementioned song, there is even a thrash riff that’s heard, carrying with it a headbangable quality before jumping right into their domineering black metal style. There’s some use of melodies throughout, bringing to mind monster bands like Dissection (“Rites of the Blood Moon”) and maybe even some Kvist, although it’s far less atmospheric than the latter’s.

The drums play, almost exclusively, blast beats throughout the length of the album, and at times they may come off as tedious for their repetition, but one need only focus on the guitars to not be affected by this. When they burst out a melody a la Dissection, the guitars tend to be doing different things, combining to result in a more effective riff. On top of the other traits that have already been mentioned, they make use of the occasional doomy passage as well, as seen in the intro to “The Ghost Tower of Inverness.” This is probably the best track on the album, as a result of its larger diversity. It contains, primarily, the tremolo-picked riffs that are heard on the whole album, but it also includes yet another thrashy riff that augments the status of their music. The vocals continue to spit out their raspy screeches, and soon after there’s a brief guitar solo as well.

I’ll put it to you this way: if you’ve heard black metal before, you’ve heard Immolith. That shouldn’t be a bad thing if you’re an avid fan, and they definitely exceed in some aspects of their music over other bands; primarily with their frequent change of pace, rather than the usual monotony that’s produced in black metal. In addition, it doesn’t have a raw production that is also often preferred; it has a crisp, clear sound. It’s an album that’s worth getting if you’re into the genre.



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