Thursday, 31 May 2012

Immolith - StormDragon






Immolith are an old-school Black metal band from New Jersey, which I thought would be too sunny to spew forth evil bands. Guess I was wrong! They formed in the twilight months of 2008 thanks to Immolith's mastermind Isaiamon. StormDragon has been released through MetalHit.com on CD and through Forbidden Records on tape.

Tracklist:-

1. The Invocation
2. Torch of Baphomet
3. Rites of The Blood Moon
4. Storm Dragon
5. The Ghost Tower of Inverness
6. The Obsidian Throne of Azazel
7. Hymns To The Countess
8. A Pact of Blood



The Invocation is an intro fit for invoking the vilest of spirits, with evil screaming and haunting but melodic chanting in the background. Torch of Baphomet demonstrates a pretty necro, old-school sound. The guitars are fast and melodic, the drumming is buried in the mix but sounds crushing and then you've got those high pitched, screeching vocals. The melodies played by the guitars sound exactly right here and when Immolith simplify things towards the songs mid point, you get thrash influences that shine through and sound awesome! It's not just a full-speed attack here, and sounds filthy enough to garner a place next to the genres best.

Rites of The Blood Moon features the essence of bands like Gorgoroth and Unleashed, plus of course the genres main protagonists Emperor. That's not to say that Immolith are merely copyists though, with their music still sounding unique in it's own way. These guys would seriously fit in at Damnation fest!

The more symphonic parts of StormDragon sound really, really good. Don't worry though, they're not modern Dimmu Borgir symphonic as there are no keyboards at play, but the guitars have that subtle sense of melody that you from symphonic Black metal. The title track's intro sounds like someone locked Metallica in a room and told them to right a song after listening to the entire Immortal back catalogue! I have to admit that I've often found it hard to take these kinds of vocals seriously, but they fit the music really well and too be honest, if you tried using any other vocals with this music, it would sound wrong!

The Ghost Tower of Inverness starts with a nice heavy, mid-paced chuck of riffs as well as some cool dual harmonies, in a track, which has some doom influences in it before the speed ratchets up again. Those slow riffs reappear later in the song and they manage to slip in a great sounding solo, which shows off their skill. This album so far has plenty of variation and with the good modern production not allowing the music to sound too clean, it's an exciting listen.

The Obsidian Throne of Azazel is one of the vilest songs on StormDragon. It's also one of the heaviest too with that pounding percussion and low end adding heft to the already frightening sound. This is also one of the longest songs on the record, so it shows off their indulgent side. I really like the guitar melodies and the use of the slower song structure, as it's a real advertisement for a band that can really play.

Hymns To The Countess is a majestic piece of metal, with a great heavy metal twist. In fact, the more StormDragon goes on, the more you get a sense of a band that doesn't just conform to the Black metal genre, but is able to adapt to subtly weave other elements into their sound to create an assured variation that should appeal to more than just Black metal fans.

The closing song A Pact of Blood sees that band going back to their necro roots, with layered guitar and emphasis on those screeching screams. The pace varies between galloping metal and more mid-paced breakdowns that sound like they accompanying armies to war. MetalHit.com have struck gold with Immolith. They managed to spot a savage band that play well structured; clever songs and that make the genre their own. Immolith are a real surprise and one that you should take a punt on!

The whole of StormDragon is available for free streaming at Immolith's own website at http://www.immolith.net/.


You can pick of CD versions of the record from MetalHit.com at http://metalmaniacs.bigcartel.com/artist/metalhit-com and you can pick up Cassette copies from both Forbidden Records at http://forbidden-records.com/ and Carrion Crawler Records at http://carrioncrawlerrecords.bigcartel.com/products

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