Kevin Page of MetalReview.com recently conducted an interview with Ross Dolan of IMMOLATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
MetalReview.com: You're in the recording studio as we speak. How's that been going?
Ross Dolan: Great. We came up here the week before Thanksgiving, we did about 16 days of basic tracks and finished that up last Sunday. Then we had to leave to go do the Arnhem Metal Meeting this past weekend in Holland. We did some press stuff for Listenable Records in Europe and a video shoot over in Paris in some underground old quarry. We just came back to the studio two days ago to start mixing. We have seven songs done. We'll probably be completely finished this weekend (December 14-15). We have thirteen new songs. Ten will be on the full length due out in April and three will be on an EP that will probably only come out in Europe through Listenable Records, a month earlier. The EP will also have a DVD which will be a live show we filmed in April at BB Kings in New York this year. Right after that we start touring Europe in May for five weeks with KRISIUN, ABORTED and one other unnamed band. We'll probably start the U.S. trek in fall '07.
MetalReview.com: What song did you shoot the video for?
Ross Dolan: The song is called "World Agony". It will be on the full-length, not the EP. It's a cool song, very musical, very extreme, very heavy, very militant-sounding. It has a very cool ending, cool guitar overlays. It has pretty much all the elements of the band rolled up into one. For anyone not familiar with the band or not really into this type of music, but still into heavy stuff, if they hear this song, it might be something that they want to pursue looking into, which is what you want to do with a video track. It's going to be in front of a lot more people than you normally would playing at a death metal show, so the point is to get something out there that might appeal to people with other tastes. Definitely not a light song, don't misinterupt that (laughs). It's a very dark, heavy, full-on IMMOLATION song but it has a lot of cool elements that people will dig, that's why we chose it. The new stuff (in general) is more extreme in a lot of ways. It's much more tense and angry than the last couple of records. But it also has the typical IMMOLATION elements you'd find on the other albums. It's more refined, straight-forward and fine-tuned; it's definitely going to be a good one. I know you probably hear that every time you interview bands (laughs).
MetalReview.com: Why did you finally decide to do an EP?
Ross Dolan: Laurent of Listenable Records wanted to do something different to precede the new album, something to pre-promote and get a couple of songs out as a teaser. And it's something we've never done. We always wanted to do an EP and had talked about it. So we did an eight-minute instrumental song, which is totally dark and heavy with weird guitar stuff. It's not something that we felt should be on the full-length album. You want the album to come out and "level" everybody. You don't want to dilly dally around with any experimental stuff. Not that it's that experimental, it's totally IMMOLATION, nothing out of the ordinary aside from no vocals. It was something we thought was appropriate for the EP. So when Laurent mentioned an EP, we immediately thought of doing an instrumental. Now the hardest part is to decide what two other songs will go on the EP. We don't want to put the weaker songs on it, since it will precede the full-length, but you don't want to put all your heavy guns on it either and save them for the album.
MetalReview.com: You have a song title for the instrumental?
Ross Dolan: No title yet, we don't have that many titles (laughs). We don't have a title for the EP, full-length, no ideas for artwork, nothing right now. The music is done, that's the most important thing. Besides "World Agony" we have [pauses to think] "Passion Kill", "Den of Thieves" and "Tarnished".
MetalReview.com: Which do you think is your best new song and/or your favorite?
Ross Dolan: Um, I like the instrumental since it's different and something we've never done, so I'm kinda excited about that. Whether it's the best song or not, that's hard to say. "Passion Kill" is a favorite of mine, just because it's short and intense. "World Agony" we all really like since it has all the elements of the band and the arrangement is done really well.
MetalReview.com: What are the songs "World Agony" and "Passion Kill" about?
Ross Dolan: "World Agony" is about what is going on today in the world, be it war, religion, or whatever. Basically the direction we took on the last record, we took a break from the whole religious thing. "Passion Kill" is actually one of the religious songs on the record. We did happen to dive back into that. There might be another one or two where we jump back into the whole religious thing though. The lyrics are a lot more personal this time. Bob (guitarist) did a lot of the writing, so between the two of us it works out a lot better, with different perspectives.
Read the entire interview at www.metalreview.com.