Released: March 9, 2010
New York’s Immolation are back with their ninth album; a thick slab of death that will triturate your bones. Majesty and Decay is dark, heavy, and unrelenting. The band remains as relative today as they ever have been, taking the glory and rawness of their death metal roots and infusing it with the more epic metal depravity of their later works. Majesty and Decay epitomizes that twisted union to near perfection.
Robert Vigne’s guitar work is at once menacing and exhalted, crossing from complex riffage to wailing solos, while Steve Shalaty’s drumming savagely seeks to cave your chest in. Ross Dolan’s bass is ominous and steady while his vocals are equals parts chilling and ferocious.
The album’s “Intro” sets the tone, creating a barren musical darkness that might have been called “In the Moment Before My Death.” And that death comes riding in on “Purge;” Shalaty’s drums like the hooves of the reaper’s horsemen. “A Token of Malice” offers intricate guitar work in a battle of 6-string war, while the title track is perhaps an apt metaphor for the entire album. “A Glorious Epoch” seems almost like a tender yet diseased caress midway through the abyss as we segue into “Interlude,” where one’s soul discovers hell is all it was feared to be and worse, “A Thunderous Consequence.”
Majesty and Decay is filled with discordant tones that create an aural representation of dark disquiet. Sludgy blackness that makes the listener joyfully ill at ease. The album is one of the band’s finer efforts and these veterans are a reminder of why the old school is still where it’s at. Majesty and Decay is, simply put, f@%king brutal!