(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new song by NYC’s Imperial Triumphant from their forthcoming second album, Abyssal Gods.)
Imperial Triumphant are not only one of the most important U.S. black metal acts currently active, truly carving their own stylistic path, but they are also important to the future of black metal. Not only do I not give two shits how presumptuous that sounds, but I am also very confident (as an overall largely un-confident person) in my assertion of both their unique skill and their liquefying intensity as musical operatives.
While their latest approaching album, Abyssal Gods, is overall a thoroughly vicious act of blasphemy packed with more memorable moments than many bands accumulate in a lifetime of albums, the song we are premiering today, “Krokodil”, is an even stranger and more off-beat track than the rest of the intricately composed yet grotesquely unfolding siren wails from hell that make up the rest of this ruthless record. Imperial Triumphant have always had a queasy, slower, droning counter-balance to their fury, infusing it with a needling sickness and a blackened nuance of psychedelia that puts you in a trance comparable to none. It’s exactly this facet of their sound in which “Krokodil” traffics.
The later portions of the song do further the beatdown in a sudden burst of up-tempo blasting, and the track also includes a bizarre, acoustic, almost western-sounding vibe that offers a different yet equally surreal melody, along with wailing screams at the end.
Insteading of pummeling you into the grave like a lot of Abyssal Gods, “Krokodil” esoterically floats like a ghost underwater, an oceanic burial ceremony compounded by a multiplicity of layers and echoing a kind of trippy bewilderment. To add some further spunk to the already warped palette, the band incorporate a creepy inverted Russian Orthodox style chant written by vocalist, guitarist, and composer Ilya Goddessraper. This ethereal yet dense nightmare-scape is further embellished by female choral chants provided by Bloody Panda’s Yoshiko Ohara as well as male choral vocals by RK Halvørson.
It’s also worth mentioning that one of the most diverse and skilled drummers of the modern era, Kenny Grohowski (of Secret Chiefs 3 fame) appears on this track. While the band’s regular drummer is Alex Cohen (Pyrrhon, Malignancy live, Say At Last, Epistasis, etc.), Kenny also performed on the band’s previous EP, Goliath, and apparently splits drum duties with Alex Cohen on Abyssal Gods as well.
Nothing can prepare you for this madness.
Abyssal Gods will be released by Aural Music/Code 666 on March 10, 2015, and can be pre-ordered here. It was recorded at Solitude Studios in Pennsylvania and Amy Mills Studios in New York, and it was mixed and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice, Nader Sadek, Atheist, Origin, etc.). The album art was created by Andrew Tremblay.
Imperial Triumphant will be touring with Thantifaxath for two weeks beginning in May — ending at Maryland Deathfest. Those dates can be seen after our stream of “Krokodil”. And to stream one more song from the album (“Dead Heaven”), go here.
IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT / THANTIFAXATH Tour Dates:
5/10/2015 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/11/2015 Rockin Buffalo Saloon – Buffalo, NY
5/13/2015 Quarters – Milwaukee, WI
5/14/2015 5th Quarter Lounge – Indianapolis, IN
5/15/2015 Live Wire Lounge – Chicago, IL
5/17/2015 Carabar – Columbus, OH
5/19/2015 TBA – Knoxville, TN
5/20/2015 The Earl – Atlanta, GA
5/21/2015 The Brass Mug – Tampa, FL
5/24/2015 Maryland Death Fest – Baltimore, MD