Talkin ‘Bout Flex: Immolation

Since Issue #75, Decibel has brought you left-of-center b-sides, rarities, live recordings and new songs from top-tier metal bands via the outstanding Flexi Series.  Want to hear the stories behind these recordings?  Read on.

Are you excited about the new Immolation cover story and album review in Issue #149 (March 2017)?  Yeah, so are we.  Death metal this pure and potent always deserves all the attention, anticipation and adoration we can heap on it.  You might remember, though, that before Atonement Fever took hold, we received this, a re-recording of the band’s first song ever, “Immolation,” in Issue #146 (December 2016, Phil Anselmo cover).  The song was special for the band back when it was first recorded, and its new rendition is significant for its own reasons (see the interview below for details).  While you pace circles around your home and office waiting for Atonement to drop, read Ross Dolan’s description about how Immolation’s Flexi contribution happened.

When/How were you approached to contribute to the Flexi Series?

Albert approached us over a year ago and asked us if it was something we would consider doing.  We were definitely interested in being part of the Flexi Series and thought it would be something fun to do and be part of.  I told Albert we were very interested and that we would think about what we would do and get back to him.  He was fine with that and that’s where we left it.  At the time he asked us, we were immersed in the writing for the new album and figured we would give it some thought and see what we came up with.  

How did you choose to record “Immolation”?

From the time Albert initially asked us to be part of the Flexi Series we were thinking about possibly featuring one of the new songs from the Atonement album, which we thought could be a cool idea if it came out a few months before the release, as a sort of teaser.  We thought about possibly doing a different version of one of the new songs so Decibel would have something more exclusive.  Unfortunately, the timing on all of this didn’t work out, so we were out of ideas.    I ran into Albert at Maryland Deathfest last May and assured him that we didn’t forget about the offer, we just hadn’t sorted out what song we wanted to use yet.  We were then informed by some friends that it was the 25th anniversary of our first album Dawn of Possession, so after giving it some more thought, we decided it was more appropriate to re-record one of the songs off of this release to celebrate this milestone.  Since the song “Immolation” was the first song we ever wrote together as Immolation, and it appeared both on our first demo in 1988 and the first album in 1991, we felt this was the right choice.  We also decided it would be cool to have the man who recorded and produced that first album for us back then, the legendary Harris Johns, mix and master the re-recorded version of the song.  Harris agreed to do it, so that’s basically how everything came together.  

When and where did you record the song?

We recorded the song in late June at Millbrook Sound Studios with Paul Orofino during the Atonement session.  Since we had an extremely busy schedule that summer, this really worked out well for us.  “Immolation” was one of the older songs that we were playing in our live set that summer, so we all had it rehearsed and everyone was very comfortable with the song.  The only extra preparation we had was just the addition of a click track (metronome) to keep everyone on the same page timing wise while we were actually tracking the song in the studio.  There was one other aspect of recording this song again that was actually very cool when we actually realized it.  The day Bob and I finished the guitar and bass tracks for the session, the only two songs we had left were “Epiphany” and “Immolation”.  We finished our parts late in the day and while sitting there listening back to our performances, it dawned on us that we had just finished recording the very first song we had ever written (“Immolation”)and our 100th song (“Epiphany”) in the same day.  We thought this was very cool and felt that we had hit another milestone in Immolation’s long journey.  

Your Flexi is red with black lettering.  Any thoughts about the color choice?

This was perfect!  These are the colors we would have picked ourselves, so it seems everyone was on the same page!  I think they came out amazing!  Everyone who saw them really thought they looked sharp and we of course were very pleased with the way everything came out, from the performance, production and the look of the actual flexi disc.  We can’t thank Albert enough for inviting us to be part of this.  It was something unique to do for the fans, and the response was nothing but positive!

Have you listened to other songs in the Flexi Series?  What is your favorite Flexi so far?

I really liked Incantation’s version of the Revenant song “Degeneration”, Cannibal Corpse’s live version of “Make Them Suffer”, Deceased’s “Luck of the Corpse” and I thought the Asphyx song “Deathibel” was a nice nod to Decibel Magazine

Check out all the Decibel Flexis here.