Hope and Horror

2 reviews

Hope and Horror reviews

6CORPSE6GRINDER6 on October 22nd, 2012

Soul by soul,taken swift,like a hurricane of fire!

“Den of Thieves” is the first song on the “Hope and Horror” EP, at first glance you will notice the honest intention to return to the reckless violence they displayed on the savage “Close to a World Below”. While production on this EP is much cleaner, as it is on “Unholy Cult” and “Harnessing Ruin”, composition wise it is set to kill as they did on their most acclaimed record. The frenzy and high velocity of Immolation’s bestial onslaught continues on the second track, but this time a slow and gloomy breakdown kicks in to give more variety to the music, which is a good thing. This is one of the brightest moments of the album I must say, followed by a nasty riff that remind me the main one from “Father you are not a Father”, they remind me the swing of an axe because of their crunchy and metallic essence.

“The Struggle of Hope and Horror” is one of Immolation’s masterpieces, it truly sums up what they are as a band. The moody guitar melodies in the introduction morph into a rhythmic procession that goes incrementing its intensity to suddenly drop down again to the moody guitar melodies, inviting the listener to take a look at the abyss. Then it regains the marching beat that leads to an epic solo by Robert Vigna. Another slow and heavy riff is repeated a couple of times before they leave you alone with another twisted guitar melody… there’s a little pause and then the other guitar answers. They continue their anguish filled and urgent dialogue until another solo comes in, again by Robert Vigna but this time he shares the spotlight with his fellow guitarist Bill Taylor. After this soloing orgy more riffs utterly committed to evil and violent are thrown in mercilessly. The slow and heavy riff of the beginning is repeated again to give the song and identity, some bands end up with riff salads where there is nothing to remember in a future listen and this is not the case with Immolation, occasional repetition of movements in songs give them a lot of significance. To end the song, the slow and heavy riffs morphs conveniently into the first guitars melodies…

This EP is some kind of brother of “Shadows in the Light”, their next effort. It shows exactly where the band was pointing at, a try to regain the roughness they had refined with the years, and they did it well. You can feel the fire of their fastest and syncopated old riffs mixed with the distressed, relaxed and breathing new grooves (still thought to crush the weak of course).

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ozzeh on June 6th, 2007

A masterful EP of tremendous proportions.

After the somewhat questionable change in sound which could be found on "Harnessing Ruin", many Immolation fans questioned what was in store for the future. Well, rest assured that Immolation on their next two releases would prove that they are still the undisputed champions of all things death metal. "Hope and Horror" is an elite 3 song EP clocking in at nearly 16 minutes in length. The fact that Immolation have released an EP finally is a true joy to me. I must say that only after a handful of listens this EP will certainly become on of my all time favorites by any band, ever.

Immolation have always been a technically proficient band in the classiest sense of the word. Immolation do not make technical songs just to confuse the listener, but instead use complexity as a vehicle for their ideals and let their music speak as loud as their lyrics. It seems as though Immolation have finally decided to make an album chock full of the most intense, technical metal ever created. "Den of Thieves" sounds like something that could have gone on the excellent "Shadows in the Light", even down to the guitar solo which I swear sounds almost identical to something off of the aforementioned album. This song is by far the heaviest of the three on here, with Shalaty's furious double-bass drumming and interesting cymbal work.

The riffs are violent and the time changes are frequent and unexpected. The sterile production of "Harnessing Ruin" is gone and instead replaced with a fuller sound with an emphasis on the guitars, but still capturing the low end bass, drums, and vocals to perfection. "The Condemned" is one of the sweetest Immolation songs ever with it's technically driving distorted guitar attack which twists around the bass and drums so masterfully words can't even describe how good it is. Vigna and Taylor are the best guitar tandem in metal. "Hope and Horror" & "Shadows in the Light" back this claim up.

"Harnessing Ruin" was Shalaty's first appearance with Immolation and my god has he improved. The drumming on this album is as good as the guitar playing, which are artistically executed to perfection. All I'm going to say about the last song "The Struggle of Hope and Horror" is that it is the best instrumental ever recorded, clocking in at over 7 minutes long, it is spellbinding. The lead guitar work on the closing song is some of the best Immolation have ever done and a truly awesome way to end the EP. In closing, I'd just like to say that Immolation are the best band on the planet right now and every album is worth owning, but this EP is as good as anything they have ever done... buy it now!

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Hope and Horror track list

1Den of Thieves03:20
2The Condemned05:04
3The Struggle of Hope and Horror07:21
1Swarm of Terror03:09
2Unholy Cult06:25
3Into Everlasting Fire05:27
4Dead to Me04:11
5Sinful Nature03:14
6Harnessing Ruin04:27
7Unpardonable Sin04:26
8Crown the Liar04:41
9No Jesus, No Beast04:45
10At Mourning's Twilight06:07

Hope and Horror lineup

Ross DolanBass, Vocals
Robert VignaGuitars
Bill TaylorGuitars
Steve ShalatyDrums