Immolation: Dawn of possession - Reply
22/08/08 || Lord K Philipson
Ross Dolan of Immolation
Global Domination: We at Global Domination saw fit to add your release, “Dawn of possession”, to our esteemed Class 6(66) hall of fame. Do you feel this album is worthy of such an honor?
It is nice to have people recognize this record and put it in such high esteem. At the time, we only wanted to get our music out to as many people as possible, and getting a record deal and releasing a record was a huge accomplishment for us. It took us three years from the time we formed until “Dawn Of Possession” was released, and during that time we were amazed to find so many people around the world who were fans of not only our music, but extreme music as a whole, and this was very exciting for us, especially since there were only a handful of us here in our city that even knew what Death Metal was. We just wrote the music that felt right to us at the time, and really didn’t give any thought to the longevity of the music. So now, 17 years after its release, to have Global Domination induct it into its hall of fame, is truly an honor because it shows us that this music is timeless and can certainly endure the test of time.
GD: What was the ultimate goal for you while recording this album?
As I said earlier, our goal was to get our music out to as many people as possible. We knew we couldn’t reach everyone through selling demos, tape trading, fanzines and playing local shows, so releasing an album was the next logical step. We were fortunate to have Roadrunner and Earache Records interested in us after the first demo was released in 1988, but it wasn’t until we released our second demo in 1989 that we eventually signed with Roadrunner Records. Before we even signed the record deal, we had most of the material written and had performed most of it all live, which is a situation we have never been in since. The last two songs to come before we went into the studio were “Into Everlasting Fire” and “Those Left behind”, and those turned out to be the two songs most requested in a live situation. We wanted to release an album that was dark and heavy and that would introduce new fans to our style of extreme metal.
GD: Name something of interest that you remember from the recording sessions.
The whole experience was something I will never forget. We were in our early 20’s, and to travel to Germany to work with Harris Johns was mind blowing at the time. It was something we were proud of, but at the same time it was a bit intimidating. Once we got there and met Harris, everything felt right and we got down to business and let him take control of the situation. We were young and naïve as to how to make a record, so it was definitely a learning experience for us. The most memorable part of the experience for me was seeing all the records of the bands he worked with hung on the walls in the studio, from Sodom to Tankard, and Kreator to VoiVod; it was a great feeling to be in the company of such classic bands. Harris had a book that he had all the bands sign and write or draw something in, so flipping the pages and seeing all these classic bands in his book was so cool for us.
GD: If you could change any one thing about this album, what would you change?
I would change nothing. It seems to have remained a classic to all our fans, and this means so much to us. At the time, we felt certain things could have been better, but overall, it stood the test of time which is more than we could have ever dreamed. Doing anything differently would change what so many people love about it, so like the old saying goes, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
GD: Why do you think this album means so much to those who consider it a classic?
I honestly think it has a lot to do with the time period of when the album came out. Many people were introduced to Death Metal by our first album and the first albums of many of our peers back at that time, so it speaks to them and reminds them of that point in their lives. Music for me can bring me back to a particular moment of my life and bring long forgotten memories back to the surface, good or bad, and I think this is what people get out of music in addition to the actual feeling of the music itself. I think the songs were dark, raw and catchy, and it had a certain creepiness to it that took you to another place. It’s hard to explain, but I think people understand what I mean by this.
GD: Finally, as an artist and musician, what special place does this album hold in your heart?
This album will always be a classic to me because it was the first. It started us on this 20 year journey that fortunately has gotten stronger and better throughout the years. Because of this album, we have traveled all over the world countless times, have played with almost every band we enjoy and admire and have met so many great and passionate people all over the world. It has truly caused us to live, and this is what makes this album so special for me.