Sep 262018


Adam Burke strikes again, creating another immediately eye-catching piece of artwork for what turns out to be an equally riveting album. This time, the music comes from the California black metal band Imperialist, whose debut album Cipher will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records on October 20th.

In introducing the music of Imperialist, Transcending Obscurity makes reference to the traditions of such bands as Necrophobic, Dissection, and Sacramentum, with nods to the thrashier dynamics of Aura Noir and Vektor as well. And while harnessing such dark, savage, and melodically memorable sounds as those names might suggest, Imperialist have also created a futuristic, sci-fi-themed concept for Cipher, which is evoked by Adam Burke‘s cover painting.

Several songs from the album have surfaced so far, and today we have another — “Umbra Tempest“.



The Imperialist quartet — Sergio Soto (Guitar, Vocals), Rod Quinones (Drums), Bryant Quinones (Guitar), and Joshua Alvarez (Bass) — have created a dynamic experience in this new song. The music is undeniably cold and vicious, combining grim tremolo riffing, blasting percussion, and utterly savage vocals to create an atmosphere of ominous peril and incipient violence. The music also comes alive with jolting rhythms and riffs, rocking cadences and deep bass thrums, galloping beats and darting melodic pulses — and it subsides into slower passages freighted with gloom and threat.

The melodies in the song also evolve, rising and falling with a mood of implacable bleakness, shimmering in a way that’s both melancholy and poisonous, and shivering the skin through long, dismal reverberations. The music changes, building tension, unleashing frenzy, becoming desolate — and it’s persistently vibrant, even in its coldest and most sinister movements.


Francesco Gemelli (Master, Towards Atlantis Lights) handled the art design and LP layout for Cipher, while label boss Kunal Choksi created the band’s logo.

Pre-order links are below, and we’ve also included streams of three previously released songs along with our own premiere of “Umbra Tempest“.



1. Continuum
2. The Singularity
3. Advent Anathema
4. Splendor Beneath An Ancient Permafrost
5. Umbra Tempest
6. Chronochasm
7. Binary Coalescence
8. The Dark Below
9. Mercurian Dusk




  1. This is a good record and a good review. The review reminds me why I first bought it.
    BTW, “Grim Tremolo Riffing” is my daughter’s name!

  2. And T.O. sent me a kick ass sticker with the artwork!

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