Ever wonder why most death metal albums on Amazon have 4 or 5 star ratings? It's because you have a certain group of people who like to "support the scene" by giving out 5-star "props" to mediocre albums. Just to let you know, I'm not one of those reviewers.
I've been into Immolation for a long time, and admire all of their albums. However, this is the first one that I think falls into the "could hardly be better" category. Brutal, coherent riffs and vocals, masterful songwriting, distilled into eight songs which are all distinct and uniquely unforgettable.
When was the last time you could say that about a DM album? As many of you on the "scene" can attest, the best bands usually break up, become stagnant, or trail off into mediocrity after a few albums. Immolation, on the other hand, is smashing the envelope, stretching the tired carcass of death metal into daring new directions to the extent not seen since the early Morbid Angel era.
This was the best heavy metal album of 2002, bar none. Enslaved "Below the Lights" was the best of 2003. The 2004 spot is still open, and rumor has it that Immolation has a new one on the way.
It's a good time to be a metalhead again.