'Kingdom Of Conspiracy' is the ninth full length from New York Death Metal quartet Immolation, the follow-up to 2010s, 'Majesty And Decay'.
The first thing to mention is the simple yet very dark and powerful cover art by Pär Olofsson, (Immortal, The Faceless) consisting of figures, all bound and chained, their eyes and mouths sewn shut, the aim, to symbolically show the restriction of speech and the intentional blinding of the masses.
The huge structure behind them is also cleverly made up of more of the same figures to represent the growing security state and how it is slowly and methodically consuming and controlling everyone, the intention, to give an Orwellian feel, which does tie in very well with the album as it is a very dark offering indeed, particularly from a lyrical perspective, dealing with the world today and the slow unravelling and breakdown of our societies and the systems and structures behind them, painting a very bleak picture of the state of modern society with each track covering a symptom of the breakdown and human failings which have caused it.
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Opening with title track, 'Kingdom Of Conspiracy' which has a slight disharmonious riff to its construct and kindles an unsettled feeling and right from the opening lines, "Feeding ourselves to the structure, striving for all that is wrong..." the lyrics just add to this feeling.
'Bound To Order' charges brutally forward but has segments which have a rather nice, dark, catchy underlying groove to them while 'Keep The Silence' beats its way forward with military precision, with driving rhythms and lyrics that warn: "If we look away from the danger, it will only get stronger."
Steady, spiralling guitars which take on an exotic feel at times on 'God Complex'. A slower almost menacing tempo to 'Echoes Of Despair', made even darker with the addition of the brutal vocals.
'Indoctrinate' is dark and awash with paranoia and despair and the message is summed up in the line: "What a terrible time to be brought into this world", with a rather good, darkly emotive guitar segment towards the latter part of the track. A blackened and sorrowful intro on 'The Great Sleep' that expands out into a slow hypnotic rhythm which oozes sadness and despair, a powerful and memorable track. Crushing and intense rhythms balance well against the harsh vocals on 'A Spectacle Of Lies', a great track also.
'Serving Divinity' is packed with intense throbbing rhythms, the drums and guitars are almost doing battle with each other, brilliant! The last track, 'All That Awaits Us' is crushing, intense and rhythmically haunting to the final note and the final line: "Close your eyes, embrace a darkness without end", makes a powerful ending comment.
'Kingdom Of Conspiracy' was recorded at Sound Studios in Millbrook, New York with producer Paul Orofino, and mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren (Decrepit Birth, Suffocation). I do like this album, a lot as it maintains the standards set by their last offering, 'Majesty And Decay', which I also enjoyed and the production is good but not over worked so you don't lose any of the density of sound.
This is an album of ten oppressively crushing, excellent tracks, featuring great guitars, powerfully precise drum work, strong brutal vocals and on top of all that, excellent lyrics which had a big impact on me, painting a bleak image of the current state of life and humanity. This album gives you a lot to think about.