Immolith - StormDragon
Black Metal
8 songs (37:50)
Release year: 2012
Immolith, Metalhit
Reviewed by Charles
This is the first full-length from relative newcomers Immolith, an orthodox quartet that emerged from New Jersey just a few years back in 2008. The band already has some associations to adorn its CV. They have won the much-coveted Infernus stamp of approval- their 2009 EP was released on Forces of Satan Records. And indeed, it’s hard to see what that guy wouldn’t like here: the band’s music represents the simplest of simple second wave-inspired black metal, with a spirit and delivery well within the Gorgoroth tradition. Production is handled by Chris Grigg, whose Woe project demonstrates a far more nuanced and complex take on this type of music than that of Storm Dragon, which is very plain and unadorned by comparison. True warlock brethren will see that as a welcome step back into line with traditional black metal ethics, while despicable hipsters might see it as a bit dated. Oh, and what do you know? It’s released on Valentine’s day! Hint hint.

Riffs here are highly functional constructions; built to accompany a simply stated occult incantation like an inverted crucifix of plain wood and nails, rather than all these fancy Satanic rites of the likes of Deathspell Omega. They are (almost) all a square 4/4, built around on-the-beat whole, half and quarter notes (semibreves, minims and crotchets for non-Americans). There is no syncopation adding any unwarranted zazz, let alone any degree of melodic or harmonic depth. Void’s drumming is a scarcely interrupted blast which can get somewhat repetitive, though there are also some nice cymbal crashes adding energy to the sound on a few occasions- for example Torch of the Baphomet. It rumbles and thunders along quite nicely, all in all, because the riffs are, if sometimes a bit too simplistic for my jaded ears, often actually quite forceful- see the blasting villainy of Rites of the Blood Moon. I also like some of the slower sections- the eerie gloom that pervades parts of the Dungeons and Dragons-inspired The Ghost Tower of Inverness, or The Obsidian Throne of Azazel.

Well, what’s wrong with the odd cliché between friends? I think this album works pretty well, and largely as a result of how rudimentary it is. I can see this band developing a cult following on the US black metal underground, despite (or most likely because of) the fact that they are in many ways a throwback to the mid-90s.

Killing Songs :
Rites of the Blood Moon, The Obsidian Throne of Azazel
Charles quoted 75 / 100
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