Immolation - Dawn Of Possession Review
by Matt Hensch
America's death metal scene back in the early nineties was a strong yet progressive time. Death metal bands were sprouting up everywhere and the genre was at its highest peak fan base. Many bands that came up at that time have been a powerful influence on modern death metal, and one of those bands is Immolation. During 1991, Immolation released Dawn Of Possession which quickly became an underground hit and is one of the most ruthless and brutal death metal debuts of our time.
One thing that separates Immolation's debut from other death metal debuts is the technical riffing and drumming. Bands like Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel poured a decent amount of technicality into their music, but Immolation out did them all; only Cryptopsy and Gorguts can top them in the technical field. Guitarist Robert Vigna and Tom Wilkinson do a tremendous job of constantly changing in and out of each riff. The riff changes are unpredictable and thrilling as Wilkinson and Vigna sway between multiple riffs, which range from standard death riffs to mid paced thrash influenced riffs, but they still contain the usual zest of any death metal band. The guitar speed is a huge plus on Dawn Of Possession. Vigna and Wilkinson do an electrifying job of playing technical riffs at incredible speed. Trying to comprehend the speed of the riffs and the amount of notes hit is almost impossible. The soloing is nothing special. The solos are usually short and are somewhat predictable, but the overall guitar work is fantastic. Drummer Craig Smilowski gives off a wonderful drum performance that certainly isn't a let down. Smilowski shows he can keep up with the rest of the band with his quick reflexes. His reflexes show just how talented he is when he is bashing his snare at full force and is double bassing at lighting fast speed and he'll suddenly stop and catch his cymbals and do something completely different and switch between the two.
Not only does Ross Dolan do a terrific job on vocals, but he also established THE signature sound of death metal vocals. Dolan's voice destroyed the old norms of death growls and replaced them with something much more devastating then before. Dolan uses extremely deep growls that penetrate the music and fits perfectly in every single way. During most of the songs, Dolan lets out a massive growl that sounds like a beast that really shows what this guy is capable of. Absolutely amazing vocal performance.
When all is said and done, Immolation were just as good back in 1991 as they are now. Dawn Of Possession is defiantly a classic death metal album and should be added to any metalhead's collection.
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