IMMOLATION was formed in May 1986 by Andrew Sakowicz (bass guitar, vocals) and Dave Wilkinson (drums) as RIGOR MORTIS. The name was changed to IMMOLATION in April 1988, after the Warriors of Doom demo which was recorded as Rigor Mortis and Demo I which was recorded as Immolation. The band got a record deal with Roadrunner Records and released their debut album Dawn of Possession through them. Later, they were picked up by Metal Blade Records and released the three succeeding albums through them. After the second one "Here in After", drummer Craig Smilowski left the band and was replaced by Alex Hernandez.
Immolation relies on riffs written in dissonant harmonic patterns, often dueling between the two guitars, to progress songs, typically over complex rhythm and drum patterns. Drum parts are often written to follow the guitar riffs in a way that is unusual for most death metal. They and fellow New York death metal band, Incantation, helped bring the New York death metal scene to the attention of the underground. Robert Vigna has been the band's only constant guitarist and is also the only constant member throughout the band's history along with vocalist/bassist Ross Dolan. Robert Vigna is considered to be one of the most talented death metal guitarists and is well known for his complex riffing and wailing solos.