Review: Imperial Triumphant “An Evening with Imperial Triumphant” [Century Media Records]

Review: Imperial Triumphant “An Evening with Imperial Triumphant” [Century Media Records]

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With this fine selection of dark, creative and apocalyptic tracks, Imperial Triumphant offer one memorable concert experience.

Some background: Imperial Triumphant is a band inspired by extreme metal, jazz and science fiction, that’s the best description I can give. Most songs on this live album are taken from their 2020 album Alphaville. The selection here is a pretty good indicator of their overall sound.

The album kicks off with the big, heavy, apocalyptic “Rotted Futures”, with its cavernous growls and odd stuttering, stop-start riffs that give the song a charmingly off-beat and twisted vibe. This type of riff is used on a few other songs, along with the really evil sounding growls. Overall, the vocal and guitars are very well done.

But one of the most fascinating elements of this album is all its experimentations. While “Rotted Futures” is an almost “normal” track, the experimental phase starts with “Atomic Age”, which begins on a weird vocal sample that sounds a little like an old song recorded in the 1930s. Then it goes back to a sort of death metal sound, before being interrupted by strange chanting and clicking percussions, and then a bunch of screams behind the growls and guitars, and some alarm sounds.

It’s one of the most creative songs in the album, but the experimentation doesn’t stop there. On every song, Imperial Triumphant uses strange little musical ideas, often to create this post-apocalyptic, atomic age-themed scary atmosphere. Sometimes it sounds heavy and threatening like in “Atomic Age” or slow and cold like “Chernobyl Blues”, with its slowed riffs that also sound a little like alarms and slow, raspy vocal delivery.

There are also some nice genre fusions, like “Cosmopolis”, which starts like a jazz jam session with soft guitar and horns, before turning into a thrashing death metal track. Or “Transmission to Mercury” with its nice piano and horns beginning followed by death metal combined with a trumpet solo. I could also mention the heavy and icy “Alphaville” and its eerie operatic singing in the middle. The song could be described as a metal version of a theme song for a fictional futuristic city. “Swarming Opulence” has all the key ingredients to an Imperial Triumphant track: horns, guitars, growls and stuttering riffs.

This is a selection of songs with many interesting ideas. There’s an impressive sense of creativity here, those songs are strange but incredibly fascinating and gripping because of it. Imperial Triumphant has created a pretty cool concept of post-apocalyptic/atomic age metal, and this is a great introduction to their unique style.

Release date: November 26th, 2021

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