As we recently covered here in Metal Insider, the 2019 Decibel Magazine tour has been brutalizing cities across America. Last week, New York’s Immolation took over the reigns from Cannibal Corpse and we were there to cover the tour’s newest addition in Philadelphia at the Theatre of the Living Arts.
Immolation is a band with a long, storied, history in the world of death metal. Headed by bassist/vocalist Ross Dolan and guitar mastermind Robert Vigna, Immolation has released ten full length records. At the Philly show the band announced that they have a new release coming out later this year to thunderous applause.
The band is rounded out by Steve Shalaty on drums and relative newcomer Alex Bouks on guitar. This band is extremely tight live and so well rehearsed.
While I’ve always appreciated Vigna’s dissonant harmonic patters, it’s great to see the evil genius live and really reflect on how well these harmonics sound in person. It certainly helped that the band’s soundperson was clearly on their best game that night in the sometimes challenging TLA. Quite honestly, I’ve covered countless bands at that venue and this Immolation performance was sonically one of the very best I’ve ever heard. Vigna’s guitar was never drowned out by the bass or drums and there was no over-reliance on excessive volume, thankfully. Though, as a photographer, I’d argue that lighting in that room is more a challenge than sound.
The band kicked the show off with “Destructive Currents” from their amazing Atonement record released in 2017. That clearly set the pace and the capacity crowd went nuts, opening up a tremendous circle pit that didn’t ever let up.
Relying heavily on Atonement, Immolation totally cleared the back bars and smoking areas by performing “The Distorting Light,” “Rise the Heretics,” and “Fostering the Divide.” “Majesty and Decay” off the same-titled record, was also a crowd pleaser. Literally, everyone came into the pit to hear this band – even some of the merch people.
Immolation is easily firing on all cylinders these days. Do check them out.