“No Christ…no cross
No pain….no loss
No wanton guilt for us to bear
No body…no blood
No crown…no thorns
No bastard son, no chosen one
I count the days
When the oppressed are released
The ending of his reign
No Jesus, No Beast…”
There’s an old joke that says heaven is a place where French are cooks British’s are policemen and Italians are lovers. In the same vein continues, hell is the place where British cook German are policemen and French are lovers…before I turn this into its metal version let me say that heaven is a place where there’s no room for a police officer and metal heaven and metal hell is the fucking same place and there you can find Germans playing thrash Americans death metal and British Classic heavy metal. But who can blame anyone if would say about Norwegian or Greeks raping unholy black metal? So probably I failed to give a proper lead to my review as jokes or allegories are not my strong cards after all. So screw the clichés that speak for “ONLY TAMPA DEATH METAL” and let’s talk about NY‘s scene (motherland of Suffocation, Skinless, Winter, Mortician, Brutal Truth, Malignacy among others)…and one of its pioneer’s finest moments, Immolation’s Failures For Gods.
The LP was out via Metal Blade on 17th April of 1999, and it was the band’s third studio album. 22 years ago Immolation was considered to be a pioneer of the genre and everyone seems to wait for the follower of 1996’s Hear In After. The album has a unique sound that is based on the strange motif that Immolation created their-own personal one US Death Metal formula. Based on Bob Vigna’s fast guitar rhythms with mid and slow tempo changes giving small breathes to the listener and even clean guitars as in the title track, showing skills that the American guitarist has as a composer and an instrumentalist. The whole album has a plethora of complicated motifs, blending harmonies and melodies as if in every song a secondary one is unfolding in a parallel music line.
The riffs upon riffs patters are furious and eerie by nature without the over use of distortion -plus this time I think that the sound of guitars is heavier than their previous efforts as the tone is thicker and melt the conservative writing procedure using often chord-like strokes in the strings rather than the usual fast tremolo palm muted picking. At the same time the “sub-melodies” work as a shaping tool of creating paths to all ideas and twists to fit in, in every song. Technically speaking the album is almost perfect. The production is muddy (personally speaking I believe that it actually serves the album purpose and Dolan’s vision), but thankfully all instruments are audible despite the double bass that is quite noisy, while the rhythm – driven repetitive parts fitting like a glove with the low, almost spoken growls by Dolan. Please notice that Dolan doesn’t to yell or going high pitched to sound evil. His deep vocals are tremendous and as he is the main lyric writer he knows well where to give emphasis in his tone. The lyrics are written in a sophisticated way not the Fuck You God spirit as an educated atheist would speak to answer why he is so hateful against religions and divine element.
There’s also a change in the band’s line up. Alex Hernández replaced Craig Smilowski on the percussive duties. Clean drumming with organic sound, without triggering and being 100% natural and analog. Of course pummeling, unrelenting and aggressive drumming is present here once again.
All songs are well crafted and executed perfectly as the tempo changes flow, there’s a variety of intensity, the riffs are always vivid and the solos interesting sounding brutal and yet catchy. At the same time the 8 compositions of the album run from four to six minutes so the listener even though he gets a lot of information can’t be bored or tired.
But how can a death metal fan be bored or tired while listening to songs like “No Jesus, No Beast”, “Unsaved”, “Your Angel Died” “Once Ordained”, “God Made Filth” or the title track…????
A must have for all fans of extreme sound especially deathsters…